Jaybo Shaw just couldn’t stay away.
He played quarterback for the Georgia Southern Eagles in 2010 and 2011, and two years wasn’t enough for him.
He spent 2012 as an assistant coach at Rabun County with his father, Lee Shaw, but Thursday, Jaybo Shaw was back on the banks of Beautiful Eagle Creek as a graduate assistant at GSU.
“It’s great to be back in Statesboro,” Shaw said on Thursday. “I call this place home even though I was only here for two years. Hopefully I’m here for a lot longer this time around.”
Shaw is coaching the running backs along with Lamont Seward.
Coaching is nothing new for Shaw. When he transferred to GSU in 2010 as a junior, he was the only player who was familiar with the spread-option offense being installed by then-first-year head coach Jeff Monken.
Both Shaw and Monken spent the previous year at Georgia Tech as quarterback and running backs coach, respectively.
With Shaw as the quarterback, the Eagles went a combined 21-9, including a 7-2 record in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Shaw spent as much time showing the ropes of the offense to the rest of the team as he did taking reps for himself.
He learned even more about coaching a year ago with his father.
“That was a tough decision, leaving him,” Shaw said. “It took me a while to think about it, but this is too great an opportunity. It’s where I played. I have so much love for the place, love for the team, love for the coaching staff, and I couldn’t pass that up.”
“I always hoped we’d have an opportunity to have him back here working with us. I’m just thrilled to have him here on our staff,” Monken added. “I love Jaybo. I love him like he’s my own son.”
Shaw was most excited to see the progress of quarterback Jerick McKinnon, now a senior, who was only a freshman when Shaw arrived in Statesboro the first time.
McKinnon, now a senior, was named to the preseason Walter Payton Award watchlist. The award goes to the best offensive player in the FCS.
“That first year, I had to learn from (Shaw),” said McKinnon. “I had to ask him questions, and I picked up on his tendencies. I got better every day,”
Shaw’s job may be to teach, but he says he’s still got a lot to learn.
If you ask him, he’s in the best possible place to improve his coaching craft.
“This is the best coaching staff in America,” Shaw said.