MIDVIEW — The search for Bill Albright’s replacement didn’t take long. DJ Shaw has been recommended by principal Tom Faska and superintendent Scott Goggin to be the first new Midview football coach in nearly three decades.
The board of education will vote on the recommendation at its Dec. 18 meeting.
“It’s really an honor,” Shaw said. “I’ve been with Midview for the last five years and learned a lot from coach Albright. It’s truly an honor and I’m really excited to get started. I’m glad that the process is over with and we can get to work and get things moving for next year.”
The process took about three weeks, Shaw said. Midview’s athletic director Dan May said the school had a good idea of who it wanted.
There were only two internal candidates for the job, including Shaw.
“DJ is a full-energy, motivated individual who has a great relationship with our student-athletes, student body, community and coaches,” May said. “Getting to know him the last season I knew he had the skill set that we’re looking for, and through the interview process he really shined and proved what we thought in the beginning.”
Shaw’s playing experience was a big reason he was selected for job. He was a quarterback and safety for Keystone, graduating in 2004. He then went on to play strong safety for Ashland until his graduation in 2009.
Right after he graduated from Ashland, he got a job in the Midview district teaching algebra. He also served as an assistant and two seasons later was promoted to defensive coordinator, a position he’s held the last three seasons.
“I think they saw the way I coached as an assistant and defensive coordinator,” Shaw said. “They liked the way I coached my players. That was a positive thing.”
The Middies ran a 3-4 defense last season and Shaw doesn’t see that changing, but he also said the philosophy he employs on both sides of the ball will be dictated by personnel. That’s particularly true next season with Midview losing senior quarterback Cody Callaway to Bowling Green.
“Obviously, Callaway is a huge piece to try to replace,” Shaw said. “We’ve been spread the last few years because of him. We’ve got to take a look at the quarterback position and look at what we have coming back and base it off that. I like the spread, but I also like being able to be balanced, control the clock and run the ball too.”
Shaw’s long-term goals are to contend for a conference title and make deep runs in the state playoffs. To do that, he said he’ll focus on developing his younger kids in the lower levels of the Midview football program.
“You have to have those kids have an enjoyable experience,” Shaw said. “You can lose kids for whatever reason when they start specializing in other sports.”
Albright coached at Midview for 37 years, 28 as head coach. He holds a career record of 172-104 with six playoff appearances. He coached the 1999 North-South all-star game and led Ohio to a 24-21 overtime victory in the 2012 Big 33 Football Classic.
Shaw will try to emulate that success in his own way.
“You don’t want to tweak too much because the last three years we’ve had some pretty decent success,” Shaw said. “We want to be competing for a conference championship every single year and make some noise in the postseason. Those are two big goals that will always be goals of ours at Midview.”