Pat Shurmur is probably best known these days for his work as the Minnesota Vikings’ new offensive coordinator after having the interim tag removed last week.
Shurmur also has been the head coach of the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator and interim coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.
But his playing career began as a linebacker at Divine Child in Dearborn, Mich. Shurmur was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA football team as a senior in 1982. That was the first ALL-USA team selected when USA TODAY was founded.
Other members of the first ALL-USA team were Rod Woodson, D.J. Dozier, Alonzo Highsmith, Tim McDonald and Doug Reisenberg.
Shurmur went from high school to Michigan State, where he played guard and linebacker as a freshman and started at center for his last three years. He was named All-Big Ten in 1987 and played in the Rose Bowl. Shurmur was actually George Perles’ first recruiting call when took over the Spartans.
“My dad went to medical school at Michigan, and then I was born on campus,” Shurmur told Ohio.com in 2011. “I knew a lot of the coaches there very well. At the time, it was probably a more popular choice to go to Michigan. Michigan State was coming off some sub-par seasons. Anyway, I ended up going to Michigan State, which some people thought was a little bit of an upset. I didn’t think that, though.”
After a brief stint in the corporate world at IBM, he began his coaching career with Michigan State after playing as a graduate student before a season at Stanford and then coming to the NFL.
Shurmur is the nephew of the late Fritz Shurmur, a former NFL defensive coordinator who helped Pat network with Mike Holmgren and Andy Reid when they were with the Green Bay Packers.
Last season, Shurmur was named the interim offensive coordinator before Week 9 for the Vikings. The Vikings average 20.9 points and 332 yards per game with Shurmur running the offense.
“I think Pat did a great job coming in under difficult circumstances,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told the team website Wednesday. “Pat and I have a good relationship, we’re able to communicate very easily.
“Pat is very open to suggestions and ideas, he’s not one of those guys where (he thinks) he kind of knows everything. It’s been good, and I think the relationship with Sam and Pat has been good as well.”