This young coach's pedigree (he's only 41) starts with his graduation from Riverside High School in Painesville, OH in 1985. He first played QB at Ohio University, but a knee injury forced his transfer to Baldwin-Wallace College, where he played for the Yellow Jackets from 1987-1989. He graduated in 1990 with a degree in education. Ya know who else is a Baldwin-Wallace College graduate??? Cheaty McSweatervest. Ruh-oh.
Moving on.......or, How did he get here????
1991-1992: Graduate Assistant, Indiana University with Bill Mallory
1993-1995: Secondary coach, University of Rhode Island
1996-2000: Defensive backs coach, Northern Illinois University
2000-2003: Defensive coordinator, Northern Illinois University
2004: Secondary coach, University of Illinois with Mike Mallory (what's with the Mallory Love???)
2005-2006: Defensive Coordinator, Western Michigan University
2007: Defensive Coordinator, Leland Stanford Junior University
2008: Defensive Coordinator, University of Michigan
SO--If you were someone who makes hiring decisions, you may ask yourself, MY G-D WHAT HAVE I DONE??? given his lack of tenure at most of his previous positions, save for NIU? I mean really...any interviewee would have some serious 'splaining to do about all those damned moves. But I sure as heck would want to meet his wife, because no woman I know would pack, unpack, and then repack 14 times in 16 years!!!!!!! Shafe, I hope you've bought her lots of jewelry. Seriously dude.
OK--Let's drill down on some of his accomplishments at each of his stops along the coaching trail.....
Indiana University 1991: Hoosiers finish the year 7-4-1 overall with a 5-3-0 Big Ten record. Highlights that year??? Coach Mallory got hisself suspended for questioning the officiating at his post-game press conference in IU's defeat to Michigan 24-16. The NCAA offered a $10,000 fine or suspension, and the ol' ball coach took one for the team and sat out the next week's away win at Wiscy. Ok, not about Shafer, but he was only a graduate assistant for gosh sakes...
Rhode Island Rams 1993-1995: I got nothing....
Northern Illinois University 1996-2003: Success! First, ya gotta love their current Coach---Jerry Kill. Forget that he hasn't coached a game there yet--with that name, he's gotta be great!! Back to Shafer. He began his tenure with the Huskies as the secondary coach and added Defensive Coordinator responsibilities in 2000. The Huskies had a 30-16 record while Shafer was DC and won the MAC West Division Championship in 2001 and 2002....at least that's what his published bios report. But when you go looking for a list of the MAC Championship Games somehow Toledo won in 2001 and lost to Marshall in 2002.
Things that make you go: hmmmm. But Northern Illinois DID appear in the MAC Championship game in 2005. And lost to the Akron Zips.
While Shafer WAS there in 2003, the Huskies beat #14 Maryland 20-17 in OT, #21 Alabama 16-13 away, and were ranked as high as #10 in the polls! But in Week 8 they suffered the ESPN Game Day Jinx and lost to #22 Bowling Green. They lost once more to Toledo finishing that season 10-2 with NO bowl invitation......
Riding that high (or low??) Shafer skated over to Illinois where Ron Turner was presiding--or was that pretending??? Not too pretty for the Illini in 2004 when the team went, um, well...3-8 overall and 1-7 in the Conference.
AHHH but never fear! Coach Shafer was off, yet again, to Western Michigan in 2005 where he helped turn the team from a 1-10 laugher to a respectable 7-4. Then in 2006 his defense set MAC records for fewest rushing yards allowed/game, was first in the nation for INTs (24) and sacks (46) and was 6th in run defense, seventh in turnover margin, and 11th in total defense. He coached notables such as Ameer Ismail (undrafted) and Londen Fryar (son of Irving).
Coach Shafer was also nominated for the Broyles Award recognizing the best assistant coach in the nation. He was beat out by Bud Foster at Va Tech, alas.
2007--over to The Leland Stanford Junior College, home of Valdemort, where success that year included not only a win over the Cal Bears, but the amazing upset of #2 ranked USC 24-23.
Then Rich Rod interviewed him, and voila! here he is.
ErocWolverine has a great post about Shafer's base 4-3 scheme
And, I SWEAR that Adam Rittenberg over at ESPN has hacked my brain for ideas.....part II
So, let's just hope that Coach Shafer can bring his successes here, and that he stays for a while!!!