Friday, December 21, 2007

Shields returns to Cal Poly

For those who missed today's paper, or didn't see KSBY swipe the story from our Web site late Thursday night, the Cal Poly football team will have a familiar face directing the offense next season.
Former co-offensive coordinator Ian Shields is returning to Cal Poly after a two-year stint as the head coach at NAIA Eastern Oregon. He replaces offensive coordinator Joe DuPaix, who told The Tribune last week he has accepted an assistant coaching position at Navy. Neither Cal Poly nor Navy have announced DuPaix's departure, although at least other two media outlets in the area have without crediting the original source, which is a Journalism 101 no-no, but I digress.
Shields' return -- he split coordinator duties with DuPaix in 2004 and 2005, when the Mustangs made the playoffs for the first time -- could mean Cal Poly's offense won't skip a beat after all this spring. If anyone knows the Mustangs' offensive philosophy and the playmakers Cal Poly returns, it's Shields. And it sounds like the coach will join the program at the end of the year, which means he'll be with the team during spring drills early in 2008.
In fact, it would be tough to find a more knowledgeable replacement at the Division I-AA level, considering so few teams run the triple option any more.
Keep in mind, Shields coached seniors-to-be Ramses Barden, James Noble and Stephen Field in 2005. Cal Poly averaged 27.2 points and 352.8 yards per game that season, going 9-4 and upsetting perennial power Montana in the first round of the playoffs.
In 2006, with the core of their playmakers returning on offense, Cal Poly struggled to match the offensive success it had when Shields was calling plays.
Cal Poly moved from a spread option to a triple-option based offense in 2007 and broke numerous school records in the process, averaging 39.3 points and a Championship Subdivision-best 487.1 yards per game. With 10 of 11 starters returing on offense, and Shields' creative playcalling back in the mix, the Mustangs could actually improve on those numbers next season.


Musty said...

Santa couldn't do a better job! Nice
Christmas gift for the Stangs...

Anonymous said...

I agree with musty !!! Ian Shields did a fine job of running the offense a couple of years ago and now he has a lot more fine players to work with.