Tyler Shafer will assume head football coaching duties at American Falls High School this fall, following the resignation of Pat Patterson, who accepted another head coaching position in Wyoming.
Shafer has assisted Patterson in coaching the last two years. Before that, he was the head coach at a small 1A school in Oregon where he coached eight-man football. Shafer played football at Idaho State University, where he earned his teaching certificate. He teaches at AFHS as well. His wife, Kelsey Shafer, also teaches in the American Falls School District.
He said he decided to go into teaching and coaching his freshman year of college, and that’s what he has been doing ever since. Shafer is originally from Vail, OR.
The Shafers came to American Falls after wanting to live in a bigger area and to play bigger football. Eight-man football was new to him, he said, and he’s more comfortable with the standard game. He spent three years assistant coaching on the 1A level and two years as head coach before coming to American Falls.
Since coming to American Falls he’s assisted with coaching football and baseball, and served last year as the head girls’ basketball coach, a position he still holds. Shafer acknowledged there will be an overlap in seasons, and while he will not be able to serve as both coaches forever, he does not think there will be a problem this year with his double duty. His assistant coaches picking up much of the work.
“I really enjoyed working with Pat,” Shafer said, also saying will be a little bit different, and he plans on running the ball more than Patterson did, who distinguished the team with a passing style. Still, the team needs to be flexible enough to pass the ball when they have the talent to do that, he said.
Patterson was not the only person to leave a hole in the football team’s lineup. His son was set to be the starting varsity quarterback this year. That’s a big loss, Shafer said, but he was confident that Kade Anderson would be able to fill Patterson’s shoes in the QB position. He looked good at football camp and can handle the job, Shafer said.
Patterson had another son who would have been a big part of the team’s line. With the changes in the lineup, there will be a little bit of experimentation at the beginning of the season to see who does best in what position, Shafer said.
The last few years the football team was kicked out of the first round of the playoffs. Shafer said he did not feel that was good enough. He wants to let players know what it takes to be a good team, he said, and that includes time and commitment.
Additionally, he’s looking forward to what his seniors can do on this team. They were overshadowed by last year’s seniors, he said, but they are looking good and he’s excited to se what they can do, he said.
With the change in the head coaching position, there will also be changes in the assistant coaching lineup as well. AFHS head basketball coach David Ethington will help coach the football team, as will Austin Williams, who has experience coaching the Malad football team, and Jason Stucki, a teacher at AFHS.