Jacksonville names Ian Shields as its third head football coach

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
by Jacksonville Athletic Media Relations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Former Lenoir-Rhyne head football coach Ian Shields brings a strong resume of solid experience as he has been tabbed to lead the Jacksonville University program.

Shields recently completed his second season at Lenoir-Rhyne where in two years he compiled a 17-6 record, won a conference championship, was named the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year, and twice had his offense lead the nation in rushing.

This past season, the Bears finished 6-5 (5-5), had six players named All-Conference, and saw All-American offensive lineman Joe Ray named a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Trophy as the top lineman in Division II. Ray also won the Jacobs Trophy as the top lineman in the South Atlantic Conference.

In the last graded semester, the football team had 50 players over a 3.0 and 18 over a 3.5 grade point average.

In his first year, the Bears finished with an 11-1 record and were 7-0 in conference play. The Bears also won a fourth straight league title, earned the top seed in Super Region No. 2 for the second straight season and garnered a No. 8 final national ranking in the AFCA NCAA Division II Coaches Poll. During the season, the Bears were ranked as high as third in the country.

In addition, the Bears put together their first perfect conference season in 52 years and set an NCAA Division II single-season record for rushing yards (416.2 ypg) behind a spread-option attack.

Seven Bears earned some form of All-American honors after the season while Shields was named the SAC Coach of the Year. Shields coached two of Lenoir-Rhyne's most decorated players in school history, Ray and linebacker Tanner Botts, a pair of first-team All-Americans.

Shields went to Lenoir-Rhyne after spending five seasons as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Army (2009-13).

Under Shields, Army produced one of the most prolific rushing attacks not only in West Point history, but in the nation. Army's offense topped the NCAA Division I rushing list in both 2011 and 2012, the first time the Black Knights led the country in that category in consecutive seasons since Col. Earl "Red' Blaik led the 1944 and 1945 squads.

The 2012 team set Academy records for both total rushing yards (4,438) and rushing yards per game (369.8 ypg). The 2011 squad was the first in Academy history to crack the 4,000-yard mark (4,158).

Under Shields, the 2012 team set an Army record with 5,235 yards of total offense which was the first 5,000-yard season in school history. The Black Knights' 436.2 yards-per-game average ranked fourth on the Army all-time ledger. The 2011 squad also recorded 254 first downs, a short-lived Army record as the 2012 Black Knights moved the chains 283 times.

With Shields' guidance offensively, Army never ranked lower than 16th in the nation in rushing, producing three top-five finishes.

Shields also coached Trent Steelman (2009-12), one of the most prolific players in school history. Steelman set Army records in rushing attempts (772), rushing yards (3,320) and 100-yard rushing games (12) by a quarterback. Steelman also broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns (45) and became the first Black Knight to both rush and pass for 2,000 yards in a career.

Shields was also part of a staff that led Army to its first bowl victory in 25 years in 2010, a win over SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Prior to Army, Shields served as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Cal Poly, Eastern Oregon University and St. Mary's.

A 1994 graduate of Oregon State University and former quarterback for the Beavers, Shields also served a one-year term as offensive coordinator at Bucknell University in 2003.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oregon State working with the Beavers' linebackers, tight ends, quarterbacks and running backs, while assisting with OSU's special teams during that three-season (1994-96) stay.

Shields, who lettered three times in football and twice in baseball at Oregon State, was elected team captain of the football squad during his final campaign.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in speech communication and earned a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies (education, communication and exercise sport science) from Oregon State University.

Shields and his wife, Norma, have three sons: Beau, Jonah and Jordan.

Copyright ©2024 Pioneer Football League. All Rights Reserved.