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Obituary: A Mastermind On and Off the Football Field

Robert Douglas Shaffer • March 1, 1953 – April 1, 2017
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A celebration of life memorial service is planned for Saturday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. (game time) at the THS Surprise Stadium. The high school gym and cafeteria have also been reserved if the weather does not cooperate.

As many community members have heard by now, the longtime and well-respected Truckee High School (THS) football coach, Bob Shaffer, died in a tragic head-on collision on Highway 89 a few miles south of Sierraville adjacent to the Cold Creek Campground entrance on Saturday, April 1. His wife Lisa and son Patrick were also in the vehicle and they both miraculously survived the accident.

Beyond leading his THS Wolverines to the Nevada State playoffs over the course of 18 years, and winning an impressive nine state championships including four consecutive state championships in his last four years, Shaffer always humbly credited his fellow coaching staff for being a vital part of what created Truckee’s football legacy.

Shaffer was the mastermind, serving at the helm of a well-organized program, but what set him apart was his gift for delivering just the right mix of expectation, high standards for hard work, and genuine encouragement and caring which he held for each of his players. He molded and sent off into the world literally hundreds of Truckee students who remember him fondly because he believed in them. And he continued to be interested in them as they made their way in the world beyond their experiences growing up in a small mountain town.

Shaffer moved his family to Truckee 27 years ago. At the time he was waffling between making a decision to accept a coaching and teaching position offered to him in Las Vegas, or settle in Truckee where his brother John and his family lived. After three hot summer days spent checking out Las Vegas, Bob and Lisa returned to Truckee, his brother gave him a job, and the rest is history.

Two years later Shaffer was hired by the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District as a teacher and within a couple of years, he took on the duties of coaching football and track and field. As the school’s athletic director, a position he held for a number of years, Shaffer was a proponent of all student athletes. At the time of his death, he was still teaching physical education and weight lifting classes at THS.

Shaffer built a home and moved to Loyalton six years ago. He likely has taken his favorite pastimes enjoyed there — which included riding his horses, walking his dog, tending to his flower beds, green beans and strawberries, and mowing acres of grass — with him wherever he is now.

A celebration of life memorial service is planned for Saturday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. (game time) at the THS Surprise Stadium. The high school gym and cafeteria have also been reserved if the weather does not cooperate. All 14 of Shaffer’s siblings, along with his 89-year-old father will be in attendance for the May 6 event.

A Bob Shaffer Memorial Fund has been set up at Bank of the West in Truckee or visit gofundme.com/coachshaffer.

 
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The Opinion Page is your place to spout off. This section contains letters to the editor and longer My Shot pieces. Also, the Spout features two bimonthly perspectives — In the Past, delving into Tahoe Truckee history, and In the Moment, an artistic musing of a moment today.

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December 14, 2017