Rock football mourns the loss of Brian Shaw

Brian Shaw

Nov. 21, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University, its football team, athletic department and criminal justice program are mourning the loss of 2015 Slippery Rock alumnus and former football player Brian Shaw, who was killed last Friday night in the line of duty while serving as a police officer in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. He was 25 years old.

Shaw was a four-year member of The Rock football team, helping the squad to a pair of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division titles in 2011 and 2013 while serving as the team's primary kickoff specialist. He graduated in 2015 after completing his coursework in criminal justice in the winter of 2014.

"This is terribly difficult time for the Slippery Rock football brotherhood," said Shawn Lutz, SRU head coach. "Brian was not just a great player, but was an even better person. He told us just this year how excited he was to become a police officer because he really just wanted to help people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones, as well as all of his former teammates in The Rock football brotherhood."

Shaw was one of the most popular players on the team among his coaches and teammates during his tenure at Slippery Rock, always brining a smile to practice and trying to make those around him laugh.

A three-sport athlete out of Burrell High School, Shaw found a place on The Rock football team thanks to his big leg. He served as the team's kickoff specialist and backup placekicker for four seasons, appearing in 42 games. He kicked 12 PATs in 2013 as a senior and racked up 13,226 yards and 38 touchbacks on 220 career kickoffs. Shaw also made eight tackles in kick coverage.

After graduating from Slippery Rock, Shaw attended and graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy. He was serving as a police officer for the New Kensington Police Department at the time of his death. He previously served as an officer in the East Deer, Frazier and Cheswick departments.

Visitation for Shaw will take place from 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20 and Tuesday, Nov. 21 at the Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania. A Fraternal Order of Police service is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. A Christian Funeral Mass will take place Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. at Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.

Anyone that would like to pass along a memory of Shaw or share their thoughts with the rest of The Rock football family is welcome to send those via email to jonathan.holtz@sru.edu. Those messages will be added below.

REMEMBERING BRIAN SHAW

"Brian was a fantastic person, not just a great player. He was the type of guy you wanted to be around because he could make you laugh and keep things positive, but you knew he was also going to be working hard at the same time. We were so proud of him when he came back to visit recently and told us about his new position as a police officer, because it's what he always wanted to do. He told us he just wanted to do something with his life that would let him help people. That's the kind of person he was and that's the way we'll remember him. Our hearts are broken for his family, friends and the entire Rock football brotherhood." - Shawn Lutz, SRU head football coach

"I did a home visit when we were recruiting Brian and from the very first minute I saw that smile I knew that was the type of person we wanted to wear the Green and White. He had a magnetic personality that made people just want to be around him. He was so well liked by our coaching staff and players. The entire Rock football brotherhood is dealing with this tragedy and we send our collective thoughts and prayers out to everyone that knew Brian." - George Mihalik, former SRU head football coach

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Holtz | 724.738.4925 | jonathan.holtz@sru.edu