As he was preparing for Christmas Eve with his own family, Javid Shoemaker received a text message on his cell phone.
It came from his older brother, Ian, in Minnesota – the offensive coordinator for the St. Cloud State football team – who had been offered the head coaching job at Central Washington University.
“He said he was coming home,” Javid said. “Now I get to know the guy again.”
The Wildcats made the hiring official late Thursday night as Ian Shoemaker, 39, will replace interim coach John Picha, who decided in November not to pursue the job.
Shoemaker, a Graham native and Orting High School graduate, was selected from a pool of finalists that included Eastern Washington University defensive coordinator John Graham and former Idaho and Nevada coach Chris Tormey.
Mat Taylor, the Skyline High School coach, was also a finalist but pulled his name from consideration right before Christmas.
Ian Shoemaker is the oldest of four brothers – and seven years older than Javid, who was a standout quarterback at Bethel High School before going to EWU.
Mark Conrad, the football coach at Orting from 1981-1991, said Ian Shoemaker “wasn’t the biggest guy around,” but was always knowledgeable to what every player was supposed to do, and how the Cardinals’ offense was supposed to run. The teenager played running back, receiver and defensive back.
“He was a very dependable kid to count on to get stuff done,” Conrad said.
Shoemaker was a four-year starter at Grinnell College in Iowa in football and baseball before getting into the college football coaching pipeline.
He was an assistant football and softball coach at Western Washington University from 1997-99. Otherwise, his coaching stops were predominantly in the Midwest at Minot State (N.D.), Saint Mary College (Kan.), Kenyon College (Ohio), Baldwin Wallace College (Ohio) and the past six seasons at St. Cloud State.
While running a no-huddle spread offense at St. Cloud State, the Huskies won a school-record 12 games last season, advancing to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals. Shoemaker’s offense averaged 39.3 points and 454.6 yards of offense per game.
Also the school’s quarterbacks coach, he helped develop Phillip Laphake into one of the best quarterbacks ever in Div. II. Laphake passed for a school-record 11,261 yards and rushed for 2,515 yards during his career.
As far as heading to CWU, Ian Shoemaker told the St. Cloud Times on Thursday, “I am fired up about this opportunity. This is an exciting time for me and my family. It’s tough to leave St. Cloud. I’ve built a good reputation based off the great kids I’ve helped coach here.”
Shoemaker’s first day on the job at CWU is Thursday.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles