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John 'Jack' F. Shaw

Jan. 9, 2009

John "Jack" F. Shaw, celebrated Western Michigan University track and field coach for 32 years, died Friday, Jan. 9, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. He was 70.

Shaw was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 after leading the Bronco men's track and field team to six Mid-American Conference outdoor championships and five MAC cross country titles.

He joined the University in 1970, and during his career was named MAC Coach of the Year in outdoor track six times, five times in cross country and once for indoor track. A four-time recipient of the Central Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year award, in 1995 he also was named NCAA District IV Coach of the Year.

The Broncos captured six MAC outdoor titles during Shaw's leadership, including back-to-back titles in 1995 and 1996. WMU finished second nine times under Shaw, including during his last season in 2002.

The University claimed five MAC cross country titles during his time as coach, including championships in 1976 and 1977. The University's indoor teams finished in the top three in the MAC six times during his career. The Broncos also claimed two CCC outdoor titles in 1995 and 1996, one indoor title in 1993 and three cross country crowns in 1970, 1996 and 1999 under Shaw.

Nationally, his squads placed fifth in 1970 and 12th in 1989 in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Shaw produced more NCAA All-Americans than any other coach in Bronco history with a total of 56--29 in outdoors, 21 indoors and six in cross country.

His legacy is still remembered by the University. The women's track and field annual home outdoor meet, which bares his name as the Jack Shaw Classic, takes place every spring at Kanley Track.

"Jack was always dedicated to the University and the success of WMU student athletes. One of the things I always said and thought about him is that as a coach, he had the ability to get more out of the student athlete and he knew how to be successful. He made the best of what he had. He was truly a championship coach," says WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard.

Prior to coming to WMU, Shaw coached at the University of Pittsburgh and Marshall University. He earned his master's degree from WMU and his bachelor's from Muskingum College.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at Langeland's Westside Chapel, 3926 S. Ninth St. in Kalamazoo. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. the following day, Monday, Jan. 19, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Milham Drive in Portage, Mich.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the WMU Foundation. Indicate in the memo section of the check that it is designated for the Jack Shaw Memorial fund and mail to:

WMU Foundation
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400