(Photo by Dave Broberg)
PROVO, Utah – Chris Shane, son of current BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane, took a position as the assistant coach of the cross country and track teams at the University of San Francisco bringing an additional element to the new BYU, USF rivalry.
“I see San Francisco as a premier destination for distance running,” Chris Shane said. “I look forward to continuing the success the program has had on the women's side as well as building our men's team into a national power. USF’s athletic director is focused on raising the bar. I’m excited to take what I have learned at BYU to USF and implement it there.”
Shane, a graduate of and former runner at BYU (2001-2002), spent the last four years (2008-2011) working next to his father as a volunteer coach while working as a businessman in Utah Valley. Ultimately, Shane realized his passion for coaching and applied for jobs throughout the country looking for his first big break as a coach.
“My dad originally heard there was going to be a change at USF,” Shane said, “so I applied there as well as with other schools throughout the country. After I received a call from the USF head coach, every meet we went to where USF was also competing we continued our conversations, and I ultimately got the job.”
In BYU’s first year in the West Coast Conference, the women’s teams at BYU and USF established a strong rivalry at the top of the WCC and are rising in the national standings.
In 2011, USF finished No. 1 in the WCC 20 points ahead of BYU to claim its third consecutive conference championship. In the national championships USF finished 25th while BYU finished 28th. To add to the growing rivalry, instead of coaching for the same team, father and son will go head to head, year after year as their respective teams compete for the same title.
“It’s bitter sweet,” Shane said. “If I was ever told I would compete against my dad as one of my biggest rivals, I would have thought that was crazy. I was just like every kid who wanted to beat his or her dad in everything, whether it was running or basketball. Now, it will be the conference championship, but it will be a fun challenge. He is one of the games greatest coaches.”
Shane assisted in coaching three individual national champions in track and field, 20 All-American athletes and 30 Mountain West Conference champions. The Provo, Utah, native was also a member of the BYU coaching staff for three top-15 NCAA indoor team finishes with a third-place finish in 2009. In addition, Shane helped coach three top-30 NCAA cross country team finishes, with two top-15 individual finishes.
“There is always a sense of accomplishment when one of your own assistants gets hired somewhere else,” coach Patrick Shane said. “It’s a compliment to our own program at BYU when other programs recognize your coaching staff wanting to improve their own. We are sad to see him go but happy he’s moved up. I’m pleased for Chris. He was indispensable here at BYU and will be indispensable at USF.”