Confirming what has already been reported, Stanford outside linebackers coach Lance Anderson has been promoted to defensive coordinator – ahem, that’s Willie Shaw Director of Defense to you.
Anderson has been a founding member of Stanford’s historic ascension, arriving in 2007 with Jim Harbaugh, David Shaw, et. al., as defensive tackles coach. He was moved to outside linebackers coach in 2010.
“Lance has worked under two of the best defensive minds in football in Vic Fangio and Derek Mason,” Shaw said in the school’s official release. “He will continue our defensive tradition of being aggressive, being physical and setting the tone for how we play football here at Stanford University.”
A driving force behind perhaps the most ferocious defensive front in college football, Stanford has led nation each of the past two seasons in sacks, collecting a staggering 101 in all. The Cardinal also ranked fifth this season in tackles for loss (107) after leading the country with 124 in 2012.
Aiding Stanford to a second consecutive Pac-12 championship and Rose Bowl appearance, Anderson contributed to a defense that ranked third in rushing defense (89.4 yards per game allowed), 10th in scoring defense (19 points per game allowed), and 16th in total defense (343.1 yards per game) – while playing a 14-game schedule, Stanford notes, that featured seven ranked opponents (six of them wins). Anderson and the Stanford brain trust have also managed to become the only program able to handle the avalanche that is Oregon’s offense and, in fact, turning the tide against the Ducks in two consecutive wins.
Among Anderson’s pupils are 2013 Lombardi and Bednarik Award semifinalist Trent Murphy (Murphy finished his career as the NCAA’s active sacks leader with 32.5) and 2011 All-American Chase Thomas.
In addition to his coaching duties, Anderson handled the extra responsibility as the Cardinal’s admissions liaison, helping Stanford post a 100 percent graduation rate, and worked as the program’s recruiting coordinator from 2007-11.
The Rupert, Idaho, native worked under Harbaugh at San Diego in 2005-06 and previously coached at Utah State, St. Mary’s, Bucknell and his alma mater, Idaho State.