Josh Kendall

Connor Shaw hired by longtime Gamecocks sponsor, aims to start own business soon

Connor Shaw has gone back to work.

South Carolina’s all-time winningest quarterback, who left a coaching job in Furman in July, joined Columbia-based benefits company Colonial Life as a sales representative this month, and Shaw plans to add to his job titles next year by opening a quarterback training facility in Greenville, S.C.

“I’m gearing up toward that next summer,” Shaw told The State on Thursday. “Right now, I really want to get started with Colonial Life and build that business.”

Shaw will remain in Greenville, S.C., and work in the Upstate and the Midlands in his new job, selling employee benefits packages to employers. Colonial Life is based in South Carolina and is the naming sponsor for the Gamecocks basketball arena.

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s a great team of people. Of course the affiliation with USC has helped along the way too,” Shaw said. “Right now, it’s pretty focused on the Upstate and the Midlands. I am staying in Greenville. That was another big part of the reason I left the coaching business. A lot of young coaches get in without families, and they move all over the place. This is an opportunity for my family to stay here. That was a big deal for us.”

Shaw and wife Molly have two children.

“Our culture at Colonial Life very much fits what Connor Shaw is like,” said Dave Mosher, vice president of sales for the southeast region at Colonial Life. “He’s a family guy. The business Colonial Life is in is all about important relationships with other people. He’s a huge value for us. Connor represents a huge brand here, and he’s great with people.”

Shaw won 27 games at South Carolina from 2010-2013. He’s also the school’s career leader in completion percentage (65.5 percent), second in career passing touchdowns (56) and fourth in career passing yards (6,074). He’s the 22nd all-time leading rusher in school history with 1,683 yards on the ground.

He spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with Cleveland Browns, starting one game in his NFL career but missed the 2015 season due to a thumb injury. He was signed by the Chicago Bears in 2016 but missed that season due to a broken leg and was waived by the Bears in May of 2017.

After leaving the NFL, Shaw joined the Paladins coaching staff as tight ends coach but left after spring practice in 2017.

“I’m really excited about being an entrepreneur and building a business and knowing I have 1,200 teammates (at Colonial Life) ready to help,” he said. “It’s geared toward helping families. If being a quarterback taught me anything, it was the importance of people being there to help and protect you when you need it the most. That’s exactly why I joined Colonial Life.”

Shaw’s quarterback facility – which he plans to call Shaw Factory – will be a one-man operation and build off the training method of Chip Smith, a longtime private trainer in Norcross, Ga., who worked with Shaw starting when Shaw was in third grade.

“I’ve consulted with Chip for a few years now,” Shaw said. “He has helped me with a business model and the science behind their training.”

Shaw still has to find a building for his training facility, he said. When he does, he will begin working with middle school, high school and college quarterbacks and would eventually like to tutor professional hopefuls as they prepare for the NFL Combine.

“This will be a pretty exclusive deal where we will have kids come into our training facility to work,” he said. “Just some of the things I have been exposed to and experienced will be great for young quarterbacks.”