Horizon FB coach Shaffer steps down, leaves strong legacy
Originally published: Mar 7, 2013 - 12:00 am
It was a noble gesture for Doug Shaffer to return to the sideline as Phoenix Horizon’s head football coach last fall after a decade coaching at the school’s younger levels.
He was replacing the departed Steve Casey, and took the job only after the team’s younger players who had played for Shaffer before and their parents came up with the idea and continued to give it life.
The Huskies went out and made Shaffer proud building an 8-3 record.
But since the season ended, Shaffer, in his mid-60s, has dealt with some health issues and has decided to step back again, a year before he had planned.
It will be interesting to see who takes over, but last season Shaffer had lobbied to have assistant Anthony Paterno, who ran the team’s offense, be the one.
Whoever steps into Shaffer’s shoes will have a lot to live up to. He led the Huskies to their only state championship in 1994 and a state runner-up finish the next year. And he preached a disciplined work ethic and that players be accountable.
There aren’t nearly as many such “old-school’’ coaches any more, but their attitudes and approaches still have traction. Yes, they want as many of their players to earn scholarships as possible, but affecting a kid’s entire approach to life is of the utmost importance.
Thank you, Coach Shaffer. Good luck in the future and good luck to the Huskies.