"He is the guy that's going to lead Stanford football for a long, long time. With that, it's my pleasure to introduce David Shaw," said Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby.
The selection of Shaw was popular on campus, especially with players.
Shaw spent the past four years as the Cardinal offensive coordinator and before that, nine years as an assistant in the NFL. The 38-year-old Shaw said that this season's success was only the beginning.
"Take the 2010 season, outstanding, phenomenal, we're going to put it in a box, we're going to put a ribbon on it, we're going to put it up on the shelf for everybody to admire. But we're going to get back to work," said Shaw.
One thing that worked in Shaw's favor was that he's a Stanford man; he was a wide receiver for the Cardinal in the early 90's under Bill Walsh and Denny Green -- he understands the culture on campus.
Ironically, Shaw planned to get into financial services after his playing career ended. Then he decided to follow in his father Willie's footsteps and give coaching a shot.
"I went and I told my mother, and I remember it like it was yesterday, I told her that I was going to take a chance and go coach at Western Washington University. And immediately she started crying and she said, 'Haven't you seen what's happened in our lives?'" said Shaw.
While Shaw may lose much of the staff he worked with to Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers, but he does have one tremendous asset returning -- quarterback Andrew Luck and the offense will remain the same.
While some candidates may have looked at Stanford as a stepping-stone job, Shaw says his long-term goal is to become a Stanford lifer.
"I want to be one of the 25 and up club that Tara VanDerveer is in and Dick Gould. That's my focus, is this place and how great can we make this place my entire stay here?"