Scott Shafer reflects on time as URI secondary coach

Scott Shafer reflects on time as URI secondary coach

first_img Published on September 4, 2015 at 11:29 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ As the secondary coach at Rhode Island, Scott Shafer did everything.Liquid nailed white boards to old green chalkboards. Cleaned out light fixtures for the first time in years. Bolted together new lockers after securing donations over the phone.A far cry from his head coaching duties at Syracuse today, Shafer’s second coaching stop encompassed vastly more than managing the cornerbacks and safeties. From 1993-95, he absorbed an array of football knowledge under the tutelage of the elder URI staff and was entrenched in the grassroots operations of a college football program.“We did everything and it was great because it made you appreciate everything as you moved into your coaching career and moved up the ladder,” Shafer said.As a graduate assistant at Indiana from 1991-92, Shafer worked with the offense and was exposed to the resources at the hands of a Big Ten program. But in his first three or four days on the Rams’ defensive staff, he helped clear out offices and lay out carpet in the coaches locker room.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe worked the phones with former students and players. He unloaded 18-wheelers stacked with facility equipment. During the summer, each coach watered the practice field in the morning, stuck around for an hour, turned off the sprinklers and came back in the evening.“You appreciated the people that were taking care of the facilities and making sure that they were up to snuff if you will,” Shafer said. “So for us it was just kind of ground-roots training and I was just lucky enough to work for a lot of great people.”After emptying closets and painting walls white, Shafer delved into tactics.Mike Mallory was the defensive coordinator and current Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi was the linebackers coach. Their on- and off-field philosophies were identical, Shafer said, easing the transition into his new role.Any money the staff had was spent listening to more experienced coaches talk about what Shafer was trying to learn.“We got to go kind of be flies on the wall and listen to Bob Stoops and Jim Leavitt talk about their defense at Kansas State,” Shafer said. “We got to listen to Bob Pruett at Florida and about what he was doing defensively at the time before he was at Marshall as the head coach. The late Terry Hoeppner was a great defensive coach at Miami of Ohio at the time, we got to spend time talking to him.”Mallory, Narduzzi and Shafer all took notes, compared what they saw from each coach and crafted together a formula of their own.“It all goes back to listening to those that were brighter than us and had a little bit of wisdom,” Shafer said. “… and it’s worked out pretty good for all of us so far.”The kiwi storyNarduzzi’s wife always gave him kiwi to take to work since nobody provided lunch in the early 90s. During a defensive meeting, Shafer told Narduzzi he was allergic to kiwi but Narduzzi didn’t believe him.One day before practice, he peeled off a kiwi and rubbed it on the front of his desk and his phone, figuring he’d use his phone to make a call at lunch. At 1 o’clock, Narduzzi walked in to a pre-practice meeting and Shafer’s eyes were swollen shut.“He’s a DBs coach, it’s nice to be at practice to be able to see your DBs, right?” Narduzzi said on Wednesday’s ACC coaches teleconference. “He’s like, ‘Man, something happened.’”Missy Shafer yelled at Narduzzi, the first time he got yelled at by a coach’s wife, and she brought in Benadryl for her husband.“So make sure when you guys are up there you don’t bring any kiwi to the press conference.” Commentslast_img

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