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Wayne turns to Michigan for its football coach

Wayne has hired Scot Shaw as its football coach.

The hiring is pending approval from the Fort Wayne Community Schools board, with an official announcement expected today.

A product of Mishawaka High School and Butler University, Shaw coached for 25 years in Michigan with Three Rivers (19 years) and Grandville (six years) high schools.

Shaw was 189-66 and led Three Rivers to the 2003 Division IV state championship.

He was most recently the running backs coach at Hope College for two seasons in 2011-12 and started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Concord High School.

“It was a chance to coach in Indiana again and be a little closer to my family and to my wife’s family,” Shaw said in a phone interview Monday.

Shaw’s son, Kyle, is an assistant football coach and track coach at Mishawka, and his wife’s family lives in Indianapolis.

Shaw said the biggest difference between coaching in Michigan and in Indiana is the playoff system. Every team in Indiana qualifies.

“In Indiana you can take chances in games because you know your playoff hopes don’t depend on a mistake you will make in Game 3,” Shaw said. “In Michigan, you have to win six games to get into the playoffs. A mistake you make in Game 3 or 4 in Michigan can kill you for the playoffs. It is like every game up here is like a playoff game if you are right on that bubble.”

At Wayne, Shaw will replace Robert Brown, who was 9-22 in three seasons.

Brown, who was 6-4 in his final season, left for personal reasons and moved to Indianapolis.

“They are athletic, I know that,” Shaw said of the Generals. “When I watch film, I see good athletes and good speed. It seems like they have been well-coached, so it’s not a total rebuilding issue as I see it. The foundation is already there. The attitude is hopefully pretty good, and we are going to build on that.”

Shaw said his coaching style has evolved over the years, but he is one who likes to run the ball.

“But that doesn’t mean I won’t throw it 20 times a game either,” he said. “You have to have a philosophy and stick to that philosophy and vary it a little bit with whatever kids you have.”

Shaw is a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches and Mishawka High School Athletic halls of fame.

At Mishawaka, he played in the 1974 Class 3A state championship game and lost to Indianapolis Washington 19-12. Shaw received the mental attitude award.