When he arrived at Tulane in July of 2000, Tom Shaw set lofty goals for the Green Wave men's golf program. Chief among those goals was the desire to turn the Tulane program into one of the elite in college golf - annually contending for the conference championship and garnering NCAA postseason bids - while developing young men both on and off the course, and ensuring that they reach their academic goals.
Five years later, Shaw's success in accomplishing the latter is unquestioned, while the 2004-05 season showed the progress he and the Green Wave have made toward achieving their on-the-course goals.
In 2005, Tulane garnered its highest finish at the Conference USA Championships with a third-place showing while seeing the team's stroke average drop for the fourth straight season. One of Shaw's first recruits at the school - senior Chris Wheeler - finished his career by being voted to the 10-man Conference USA All-Decade after earning all-conference honors for the fourth time. Sophomore Michael Thompson, a first-team All-C-USA pick and the 2004 C-USA Freshman of the Year, joined Wheeler in becoming the first NCAA Regional participants from Tulane in the modern era.
Shaw's players have now earned all-league recognition six times and Tulane players have won seven individual titles, led by Thompson's four, during his tenure.
It's no surprise that Shaw and Tulane have proven to be a perfect fit. After all, the Texas native brought a combination of professional credentials, collegiate golf experience and coaching expertise to New Orleans, along with a familiarity with the challenge of combining golf and high-level academics at an institution like Tulane.
Shaw knows something about championship golf from his experiences as a collegiate golfer at Georgia Tech, as a professional golfer on the Nike Tour and as a collegiate assistant coach at South Carolina.
Shaw came to Tulane after two seasons as the assistant coach at the University of South Carolina under his former collegiate coach at Georgia Tech, Puggy Blackmon. While working with USC's nationally-ranked program, Shaw was involved with many aspects of the team, including scheduling, recruiting, and academics, in addition to one-on-one coaching.
USC was ranked in the national Top 25 during each of Shaw's years there and advanced to the 1999 NCAA Championships after finishing second in the NCAA East Regional. Shaw worked closely with USC All-Americans Kyle Thompson and Eric Ecker.
The 37-year-old started his coaching career after seven years as a professional golfer on the Nike Tour from 1992-98. Shaw found success on the Tour, three times qualifying for the season-ending Nike Tour Championships as one of the season's top 50 money-winners and placing second in three separate tournaments. Shaw narrowly missed qualifying for the PGA Tour in 1997, falling short by one shot at Qualifying School.
At Georgia Tech, Shaw captained the squad, and was the No. 2 player on a team that featured current PGA Tour players David Duval, Michael Clark, Tripp Isenhour and Briny Baird. The Yellow Jackets claimed ACC titles in 1990 and 1991, and Shaw was an All-ACC selection in 1991. He earned Academic All-America honors following both his junior and senior seasons, and graduated with high honors from Georgia Tech in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in management.
Shaw's emphasis on academics has shown results at Tulane as every player he has coached has earned his degree, while men's golf has posted the top GPA among all Tulane men's teams for the last four years. They won the C-USA Academic Award for men's golf in 2001 and again in 2003 and Wheeler earned the men's golf Scholar-Athlete Award for 2004, presented to only one men's golfer in the conference. In 2004-05, eight of 12 players on the roster were named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll with cumulative GPA's above 3.0.
A native of Ft. Worth, Texas who graduated from Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., he and his wife, Sherri, have a seven-year-old son, Ryan, and a three-year-old daughter, Katherine.
Shaw will serve as a member of the NCAA Regional selection committee for the second straight year in 2005.
The Shaw File
Head Coach, Tulane (2000-present)
Asst. Coach, South Carolina (1999-2000)
Georgia Tech (1990-91)
Nike Tour (1992-98)
College: Georgia Tech (1991)
Degree: BS, Management
High School: Parkview HS, Lilburn, GA (1986)
Birthdate: Sept. 27, 1967
Birthplace: Kansas City, Kansas
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Family: Wife, Sherri; Children, Ryan (7) and Katherine (3)
Sent Tulane individuals to NCAA Regionals for first time (2005)
Led Tulane to best ever finish at C-USA Championships (2005)
Helped Tulane players earn All C-USA honors six times
Coached the 2004 C-USA Freshman of the Year and a C-USA All-Decade honoree
Three second-place finishes on the Nike Tour in his career
Competed in three Nike Tour Championships (Top 50 money-winners only)
All-ACC selection at Georgia Tech in 1991
Academic All-American in 1990 and 1991