Ian Shields
Ian Shields
Title: Head Coach
Alma Mater: B.A., M.A., Oregon State University

Tabbed as just the third head football coach in Jacksonville University history in November of 2015, Ian Shields begins his second season leading the Dolphins.

In his inaugural campaign, Shields guided Jacksonville to success on the field, in the classroom, and in the community at-large. 

On the field, the Dolphins finished the season with an overall record of 5-5, which included a 4-3 mark in league play, and also saw the program’s second NFL free agent signee in as many years in linebacker Justin Horton (Jacksonville Jaguars).

The team set multiple program records with single season marks in rushing yards (2,482 yards) and rushing touchdowns (29) while tying the single-game rushing record (433).  The Dolphins also finished the year ranked nationally in the FCS Top 25 in scoring offense, total offense, rushing offense, yards-per-completion, passing efficiency, time of possession, and punt return average.

Sixteen players earned All-PFL postseason honors and three were named conference Players of the Week.

Off the field, the Dolphins immersed themselves in the Jacksonville community, logging over 400 community service hours with the Boselli Foundation, Catholic Cathedral Care, and JU Charter Day participation.

Academically, in Shields’ first year at the helm, the team ended the spring semester with its highest recorded grade point average in program history (2.92).  Five Dolphins were recognized on the President’s List (4.0), 14 made the Dean’s List (3.5+) and a program-record 48 Dolphins were named on the 2016 PFL Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to his arrival at Jacksonville, Shields served as the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, where he spent two seasons, compiling a 17-6 record. While at Lenoir-Rhyne, Shields won a conference championship, was named the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year, and twice had his offense lead the nation in rushing.

In the 2015 season, the Bears finished 6-5 (5-5 SAC), 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 achieve a grade point average above a 3.0 with 18 boasting a 3.5 or higher.

Shields’ first year at Lenoir-Rhyne featured an 11-1 record. Finishing 7-0 in conference play, the program put together its first perfect conference season in 52 years while also setting an NCAA Division II single-season record for rushing yards (416.2 YPG) behind a spread-option attack.

Ranked as high as third in the country, the Bears earned the top seed in Super Region No. 2 for the second and garnered a No. 8 final national ranking in the AFCA NCAA Division II Coaches Poll.

Seven Bears earned some form of All-American honors after the 2014 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.

Prior to Lenoir-Rhyne, Shields spent five seasons as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Army (2009-13).

Under Shields, Army produced one of the most prolific 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 also coached at Cal Poly (AHC/OC), Eastern Oregon (HC/OC), Bucknell (OC), St. Mary's (OC), and Oregon State (GA).

A 1994 graduate of Oregon State University and former quarterback for the Beavers, Shields began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in Corvallis.  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 (14), Jonah (12), and Jordan (4).

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