When Tony Shaver accepted the head coaching position at William & Mary in May of 2003, he set his sights on making the Tribe a championship-contending program. Fast-forward to the present, the two-time CAA Coach of the Year and National Mid-Major Coach of the Year finalist has led a revival of the Green and Gold program. The Tribe has posted four of its nine 20-win seasons under Shaver, including three of the last five seasons. In fact, half of the Tribe’s top 10 win totals have come during his 15 seasons on campus.
Over the last five years, W&M owns 96 overall victories, including 54 in CAA play. Both totals are tops in the CAA. The Tribe notched three-straight 20-win seasons in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16, marking just the second streak of three years in program history. The Green and Gold captured the CAA regular season Championship in 2015. Twice, Shaver led the program to berths in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), only the second and third post season bids in program history. Shaver, who is the dean of CAA head coach, is W&M’s all-time winningest head coach with 212 victories over his 15 seasons on the Green and Gold sidelines.
In his 32 years as a collegiate head coach, he ranks among the active leaders in victories in college basketball. Over his career, Shaver-coached teams have won 20 or more games during 16 seasons and advanced to the post season on 13 occasions. Shaver enters 2018-19 ranked 18th among active Division I head coaches with 570 career victories. He became the 86th Division I head coach to win 500 games in 2014. His career win total ranks 63rd all-time among head coach with at least 10 years of Division I experience.
Under Shaver, the Tribe has peaked at the right time of year during the conference tournament. Prior to his arrival in 2004, W&M had just two CAA Tournament wins in 18 years as a member of the league. During Shaver’s 15 seasons, the Tribe owns 14 CAA Tournament victories and the program’s first four championship game appearances. In fact, since 2008, W&M leads all CAA programs with 13 league tournament victories. The Tribe has earned a spot in the CAA Semifinals each of the last five years, a first in W&M history.
A total of 23 players have garnered All-CAA honors under Shaver, including five first team picks. By comparison, the Tribe had just two first team All-CAA selections prior to Shaver’s arrival. The Tribe has produced multiple All-CAA picks each of the last six seasons. Another nine players have been named to the CAA All-Rookie Team and his players have three CAA All-Defensive Team accolades. Shaver-coached players have taken home two CAA Rookies of the Year, two CAA Defensive Players of the Year and a CAA Player of the Year. He has coached 12 NABC All-District selections.
Sixteen of Shaver’s former Tribe athletes have gone on to professional careers overseas. A player from 11-straight graduating classes has gone on to sign a professional contract. Three W&M players have been selected in the NBA G-League (formally Development League) draft, and another, Marcus Thornton, was a second round NBA Draft selection. Five former Tribe standouts (Alex Smith, Danny Sumner, Quinn McDowell, Daniel Dixon and Thornton) have all played in the NBA Development League.
Along with its success on the court, Tribe players have done their work in the classroom as well under Shaver. Six times under Shaver a Tribe player has been named the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In five of the last 10 years, a W&M student-athlete received the CAA’s prestigious Dean Ehlers Leadership Award, which is given to the student-athlete who “embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship in conjunction with his academic athletic achievement.” Quinn McDowell became the first-ever two-time winner of the honor in 2011 and 2012. He was also the first CAA men’s basketball student-athlete to be named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award on his way to Lowe’s Senior CLASS Second-Team All-America honors in 2012.
The men’s basketball program earned five NCAA Public Recognition (2013-17) for its perfect four-year Academic Progress Rate of 1,000, ranking among the top 10 percent nationally. The Tribe produced six straight years of perfect 1,000 APR scores (2012-17).
Shaver is a member of three Halls of Fame, including each of his previous coaching stops. In October of 2016, he was inducted into the High Point Central Sports Hall of Fame. A standout in football, basketball, golf and baseball for the Bison, Shaver was a multi-time all-conference selection in both football and basketball and quarterbacked the football team to the state finals in 1971. He was inducted into the Episcopal High School Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Hampden-Sydney College Hall of Fame in 2004 as the winningest coach at each place. Shaver led Episcopal for 10 seasons from 1976-86.