COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Connor Shaw grew up as a coach’s son.
Dating back to his days in Flowery Branch, Ga., Shaw spent time watching his father groom players for his program. Shaw even watched his brother who also coaches. Now, Shaw is grooming a few players of his own as the quarterbacks coach at South Carolina under interim head coach Mike Bobo.
“Obviously, there’s been a lot of change this year. There’s been change for coaches and players and myself and then the transition from my role with player development to being on the field, but I’m excited,” Shaw said about being named the quarterbacks coach. “I really am. Obviously, I have a lot of great memories here as a player in that position. It was fun being in the quarterback room this morning. It was fun being involved in the field today. That’s what I told our quarterbacks. We have three weeks to go compete, have a lot of fun, make a lot of memories, and have a lot of pride in what we do individually but also as a team.”
Shaw was on Furman’s staff for a short period of time as the Paladins' tight ends coach before stepping down to pursue other business ventures, but he believes his knowledge of the game will help him make a smooth transition back to the sidelines.
“I don’t think I’ve ever left the game, even when I wasn’t in football the past couple of years,” Shaw said Tuesday. “I’ve always sort of envisioned myself as being very closely attached to the game of football and I’m excited to be on the field. Grateful for the opportunity.”
In his new role, Shaw hopes to provide the Carolina quarterbacks with some of the knowledge he’s gained over the years. More importantly, he wants to instill an important trait in the players calling the signals for the Gamecocks.
“With Collin [Hill], my main thing with him but also the quarterback room has been just being consistent,” Shaw said. “The world around us, the things that are not in [our] control can be very up and down and that’s life. That’s the game of football, but if we can be consistent in who we are, consistent in our preparation and our approach and our attitudes and the way that we execute on Saturdays, we’ll find ourselves in a good spot.”
While Hill is in position to start for the Gamecocks at quarterback for the final three games, he won’t be the only one receiving sound advice from the program’s winningest signal-caller.
“I think for [Ryan Hilinski and Luke Doty], it’s getting mental reps, it’s staying locked in,” Shaw said. "We’ve all been part of this game long enough where things can happen on the fly and, when your number’s called, you better be prepared because you might not get another opportunity.
“I’m very proud of the growth in the room. I’ve had sort of a bird’s eye perspective the past several months as this season’s unfolded in my position with player development. They’ve all grown, they’ve all matured, they’ve all gotten better, and that’s all they can do. That’s the only thing that’s in their control. I do, I know Coach Bobo does, and the rest of this team have confidence in the rest of those guys.”
While the topic of staying on South Carolina’s coaching staff is not a pressing issue at the moment, Shaw did tell reporters Tuesday that staying in South Carolina is something he’d love to do.
“I know that I want to keep this on my chest,” Shaw said as he grabbed the Gamecocks logo on his hooded sweatshirt. “I don’t want to go anywhere. South Carolina’s my home. We’ve built a home in the summer. I want to raise my kids here and have great memories here. What type of role that looks like, we’ll have that conversation when we get there, but we need to win this ball game on Saturday.”