Truckee mourns the loss of long-time coach
Flowers line the entrance of the Truckee Wolverines’ Surprise Stadium as students, staff and alumni of the high school are grieving the loss of former head football coach Bob Shaffer.
Truckee Football alumni Daniel Ballou and Chris Hobart were among those who visited the stadium Tuesday afternoon to pay their respects.
“Despite the affluence of Truckee today, a lot of us weren’t well off growing up. He made sure we were taken care of,” said Hobart, who graduated from Truckee High in 2006.
Hobart said that Shaffer used to keep the gym open to students who had nowhere to go after school because their parents had lengthy commutes. He also said that the coach made it a point to get to know everyone.
“He took a personal interest in everyone,” said Ballou, who graduated in 2005.
Ballou said that Shaffer held students accountable and was always pushing them to be better, even off the field.
“One time he’d found out that I’d gotten a speeding ticket because he was friends with one of the officers,” Hobart said. “He made me run so much for that.”
But more than anything, Shaffer trained an entire community on the importance of character.
“We had a very dominating team and he always made sure we acted fairly,” Hobart said.
In Shaffer’s 18-year run as head coach, he led the Wolverines to a 170-32 record, according to previous Sierra Sun reports. His teams never missed the playoffs.
Truckee High alumna Dana Brooks, who graduated in 2003, said that she knew the coach through friends and also through a weight-lifting class she took with him.
“He meant a lot to a lot of people,” she said. “He was a coach, a mentor and a friend.”
Shaffer and his family were driving north on Highway 89, south of the Cold Creek Campground on Saturday evening, according to a news release from the California Highway Patrol’s Quincy division.
According to the report from CHP, another driver heading in the opposite direction “allowed his vehicle to cross into the northbound lane, into the path of the Shaffer vehicle.”
Shaffer was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife and son, who were in the vehicle with him, suffered moderate injuries. The other driver is currently being treated for injuries but is expected to live.
A memorial service is being planned for the community to attend, according to a family member, though no date has been set.
Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @akrhoades.
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