STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford has named Lance Anderson as its new Willie Shaw Director of Defense in an announcement made Friday morning. Anderson takes over the role vacated by Derek Mason, who was named Vanderbilt’s head coach last week.
“Lance has worked under two of the best defensive minds in football in Vic Fangio and Derek Mason,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “He will continue our defensive tradition of being aggressive, being physical and setting the tone for how we play football here at Stanford University.”
Anderson recently completed his seventh season on the Stanford staff and fourth campaign working with the outside linebackers, a position group which he will continue to coach. Anderson previously worked with the defensive tackles from 2007-09.
One of the architects of Stanford’s vaunted defense, Anderson has also received considerable praise for his work as the program’s liaison to the Stanford admissions office.
Anderson’s players have played key roles in guiding the Cardinal to consecutive Rose Bowl appearances in 2013 and 2014, and consecutive Pac-12 titles with one of the nation’s top defensive units. The Cardinal has ranked among the nation’s top 15 in defensive efficiency for three consecutive years.
While facing seven nationally-ranked opponents in 2013, Anderson helped Stanford rank third in the NCAA in rushing defense (89.4 yards/game), 10th in scoring defense (19.0 points/game) and 16th in total defense (343.1 yards/game). The Cardinal was one of only five teams last year to allow fewer than 100 rushing yards/game. The team was also among the best nationally in producing stops for negative yardage, ranking fifth with 44 sacks and seventh with 109 tackles for loss.
Linebacker Trent Murphy led the nation with 15 sacks and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. Murphy was also a first team All-Pac-12 selection and finished his career as the NCAA’s active leader in sacks with 32.5.
Anderson’s work on the admissions front has been noteworthy. Stanford has earned consecutive Academic Achievement Awards from the American Football Coaches Association after posting a 100 percent graduation rate.
The 2012 defensive unit paved the way to a historic defensive output, breaking Stanford’s single-season sacks record (57). The Cardinal went on to win the Pac-12 title and claimed its first Rose Bowl crown in over 40 years.
In 2011, outside linebacker Chase Thomas earned Sporting News All-America honors after leading the conference in tackles-for-loss and ranked second in sacks.
As Stanford’s recruiting coordinator from 2007-11, Anderson played an instrumental role in landing four consecutive nationally acclaimed recruiting classes that were ranked in the top-25 by various scouting services.
Anderson came to Stanford from San Diego in January of 2007 after spending two seasons working with the Toreros under former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Prior to joining Harbaugh in San Diego, Anderson had coached at Utah State, Saint Mary’s, Bucknell and Idaho State.
In 1999, Anderson coached running backs for one season for the Mobile Admirals of the Regional Football League.
A native of Rupert, Idaho, Anderson began his coaching career in 1997 at his alma mater, Idaho State. He spent two seasons with the Bengals (1997-98).
He was a three-sport athlete at Idaho’s Minico High School, where he participated in football, baseball and track. After serving a church mission, Anderson was a walk-on at Idaho State where he played linebacker in 1993 and 1994.
Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree from Idaho State in 1996.
Lance and his wife, Sherri, reside in Menlo Park with their three children –Aubrey, Jaren and Braden.