As a young coach in the NFL, Shane Waldron has worked under the likes of Bill Belichick and Sean McVay.
Now he’s reportedly joining Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle.
After spending the past four years on the staff of the Los Angeles Rams, Waldron, 41, is set to become the Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator, according to ESPN.
Here are five things to know about Waldron:
He got his start under Bill Belichick in New England
Waldron played tight end and long snapper at Tufts University outside Boston, graduating in 2002. He got his coaching start as an operations intern with the New England Patriots soon after that.
When New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis took over as the head coach at Notre Dame in 2005, Waldron followed him as a graduate assistant coach. He returned to New England in 2008, first as a quality control coach and then earning a promotion as the tight ends coach in 2009.
He spent one season in the UFL coaching wide receivers with the Hartford Colonials, and worked as an assistant coach (tight ends and offensive line) at the University of Massachusetts from 2012-15.
He’s spent the past five years with Sean McVay
Waldron is the latest McVay assistant plucked away by another team.
Waldron first worked under McVay as an offensive quality control coach with the Washington Football Team in 2016. When McVay was hired as the Rams head coach the following year, Waldron followed him to Los Angles as the tight ends coach.
“I had a great experience with (McVay),” Waldron said in a 2017 interview with therams.com. “Just being around his leadership, his charisma, his ability to develop relationships with the players, and his ability to motivate the guys, and then, most importantly, his motivation level as a coach is — bar none — the best I’ve ever been around.”
In 2018, Waldron was promoted as the Rams passing game coordinator.
In January 2019, Waldron reportedly interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Cincinnati Bengals — a job that ultimately went to his Rams colleague Zac Taylor.
Waldron was also a candidate for the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator position, which was eventually filled by former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell.
He’s a ‘great’ communicator
In one interview, Waldron described vision and communication as the most important facets of coaching.
“When you get into the coaching profession, that ability to communicate and relate to everybody has been a really helpful thing along my journey as a coach,” Waldron said in a 2020 interview with The Tufts Daily.
“I’ve been lucky to be with a lot of great franchises, and the common theme there is just everyone being on the same page and everyone having a clear understanding of what their role is within the team,” he added.
McVay praised Waldron in a 2018 conference call with reporters.
“He’s a phenomenal coach,” McVay said then. “He’s a great communicator. He’s got a rare ability to authentically and genuinely connect with not only coaches but the players and be able to correct in a manner that doesn’t make guys’ guards come up. It’s all about problem-solving and doing it together. He’s obviously done a phenomenal job, really mainly as a leader for our offense, not exclusively to just being a pass game coordinator.”
He has some* experience calling plays in the NFL
*Some experience meaning he called plays for the Rams during preseason games in 2019.
McVay, the Rams’ regular play-caller, explained why he wanted Waldron to have that experience in 2019.
“It’s really good for the new guys to kind of feel what the normal rhythm of a flow of a game is. And then, in a lot of instances, it gives you a chance — especially for some of our coaches on offense — a guy like Shane to call some plays and get some experience,” McVay told reporters then. “I was so fortunate to have Jay Gruden give me those opportunities when I was in a similar role. I couldn’t be more thankful for him and what I learned in terms of empowering your assistants is one of the best things I would take away from Jay and I think these preseason games represent a great opportunity for players and coaches to both grow and for us to get a feel for kind of our rhythm during the game.”
Waldron’s only other experience with the title of offensive coordinator came a decade ago during his one season coaching at the high school level (Buckingham Browne & Nichols High in Cambridge, Mass.).
He’s a Pacific Northwest native
Waldron grew up outside Portland and is a 1997 graduate of La Salle Catholic High School.
“You could tell Shane was driven and motivated to do something on the big stage,” La Salle athletic director Chris George, a classmate of Waldron, said in a 2019 interview. “He often talked about collegiate and professional sports in such a manner that you could tell he was so intrigued and motivated. It’s no surprise he had the conviction and perseverance to be in the NFL coaching profession.”