Athletic Director Dan Kenney and Chancellor Allen C. Meadors announced on December 13 that Peter Shinnick is the Braves’ new head football coach.
“Today marks the end of one of the stages in bringing football back to UNC Pembroke, and it also begins a new stage,” Kenney said. “We have ended our search for a new coach and begun the process of assembling a team and coaching staff.”
“We are excited to announce Peter Shinnick as our Head Football Coach,” he said. “Our search was truly national in scope, and the Football Advisory Committee was flattered with the caliber of candidates that expressed interest in this position.”
Shinnick, who is UNCP’s first football coach since the early 1950s, was the head football coach at Azusa Pacific University (APU), a NAIA school in California. In seven years, he led the Cougars to a 53-22 record, including a 34-10 mark over the past four seasons.
“We feel Coach Shinnick is a great choice for UNCP,” Chancellor Meadors said. “He brings a career of success to the table, but most of all a reputation for being a coach of the highest integrity and one that cares for his student athletes. We are delighted to have him, his wife, Traci, daughters, Anna and Rachel, and sons, Elijah and Benjamin, join the UNCP family.”
A 1988 graduate of Colorado University, Shinnick, 40, coached 22 all-Americans and 11 academic all-Americans while at APU. He led the Cougars to five NAIA postseason appearances, including two final four showings in 1999 and 2004. The Cougars have also appeared in 48 consecutive NAIA top 25 polls over the last four seasons.
“Peter Shinnick's competency and character impressed everyone that he came into contact with during the interview process,” Kenney said. “He demonstrated through his previous coaching experiences that he is truly committed to the UNCP mission of ‘preparing champions.’”
“His coaching pedigree and background in football is outstanding,” Kenney said. “The success he had at Azusa Pacific as a head football coach over the last seven years was unprecedented in their school history.”
Shinnick has a lifetime of training for this job. His father, Don Shinnick, was an all-American linebacker at UCLA, played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and coached with the Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals and the New England Patriots.
Three of Peter’s four brothers played NCAA Division I football – Josh at UCLA, Adam at Penn State and Chris at Hawaii. Peter Shinnick was an offensive lineman at Colorado. He played for Bill McCartney and was assistant coach for some of the most respected college football coaches in the nation. Shinnick began coaching in 1988 as an offensive line coach at the University of Richmond. He joined the staff as a graduate assistant at Arkansas.
Shinnick coordinated Oregon State’s recruiting efforts beginning in 1992. Two years later he put together Oregon State’s first-ever nationally ranked recruiting class, which was third in the Pac-10 and 19th in the nation.
Coaching colleagues call him “reliable, consistent, appropriate, capable, imaginative, loyal and full of uncompromising integrity.”
Shinnick believes that football is not only fun for the players but should be entertaining for the fans as well. Four of his Cougar teams averaged 30 points a game. He likes to put the ball in the air, but balance has been the key to the Cougars averaging over nearly 400 yards of total offense through 65 games of the Shinnick era.
Administratively, Shinnick serves on several committees with the American Football Coaches Association and NAIA committees. He is a long-time member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
As a player, Shinnick lettered two years as an offensive guard at Colorado, playing in 21 games for the Buffaloes and the 1985 Freedom Bowl and 1986 Bluebonnet Bowl. He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in business and later earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Clemson.
On the opportunity to become UNCP’s football coach: “I would like to thank Dr. (Allen) Meadors and Dan (Kenney), along with everyone else who was involved with the hiring process for this amazing opportunity. I am extremely excited to be a part of the UNC Pembroke family.”
On the hiring process: “I’ve never seen a more prepared group when it comes to doing an interview. Everything was first class during my visit.”
On building a program at UNCP: “I am extremely impressed with the University as a whole and its plan for the future, which includes the building of a football program. Even though we are starting from scratch, Dan (Kenney) and his staff have made great strides preparing for this moment.”