Warner Football – Rod Shafer Announces Retirement After 43 Year Coaching Career

by | Oct 25, 2018 | Football Blogs, RRSN News | 0 comments

Warner Football – Rod Shafer Announces Retirement After 43 Year Coaching Career

LAKE WALES, Fla. – The Coach Rod Shafer era draws close to an end as he has announced his retirement from 43 years of coaching football. The Warner University Royals Head Coach Rod Shafer will retire following the 2018 football season.

Rod Shafer has come a very long way since the beginning of his career. Graduating from Taylor University (Ind.) with a bachelor’s degree in English and also holding a master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in Education Administration, Shafer did not know he was destined for football. “I started out coaching basketball in high school. When we won every game but one, then they said, well if you can win at basketball you should be able to do something with our football team” said Shafer with a smile on his face. 43 years of coaching football later, Rod Shafer and his wife of 43 years Susan, have decided to move on and enjoy the next stage in life which is spending time with their grandchildren and watching their son Justin chase his Major League Baseball career as he’s currently rostered with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Shafer’s career began at North Vermillion High School in Cayuga, Fla. where he spent five years. He then traveled back to Indiana where he spent six years at Danville High School. His next two years at Terehaute High School was when he realized where God truly wanted him to be, and that was Lake Wales, Fla.

During his time as a Florida High School Head Coach, Shafer was named the 3A and 4A Coach of the Year three times, Florida Coach of the Year Runner-up once and was named the Florida Coach of the Year in the 1994-95 school year.  During his 21 years at Lake Wales high school, Shafer’s Highlander teams won the District Championship or were runner-up 17 times, Regional Champions six times, State Semifinalists four times and State Runner-up two times, averaging 9.4 wins per year. He also coached the Florida-Georgia All-Star game in 1995 and was the Head Coach in the Florida North-South All-Star game in 2012. Shafer also served on the Florida Coaches Committee and was the District Chairman for 15 years. Coach Shafer said, “I wish I could take all of the credit for my success, but the truth is, I took over a Lake Wales team that had really good athletes and great assistant coaches.”

Shafer left a very successful career at Lake Wales High School in 2002 when, at the time, Webber International University President Rex Yentes came to him and said, “Rod, I want to start small college football in the state of Florida.” In his four-year tenure at Webber International, the first year being a club team only, Shafer and the Warriors laid claim to wins over the next three years against teams such as current NAIA Powerhouse Bethel University and NCAA D-I Jacksonville University.

Following the 2005 season, Shafer returned to Lake Wales High School as the Head football Coach but with a slightly different focus. Shafer had four goals he sought after in his career. The first goal was developing a winning team at Lake Wales, without a doubt he accomplished that. Goal number two, Shafer wanted to address the fact that his athletes, as great of teams as he coached, would only graduate just a few players with scholarships to play football at the next level. He started a high school football recruiting fair that would take place right after the major signing day for NCAA D-I football programs. “We had so many kids at Lake Wales High School alone that had some amazing talent and just were not ready to jump to NCAA D-I programs.” said Shafer. The first fair was held in Boca Raton, the second at Lake Wales High School, and now every year at over 40 schools in the state of Florida. College and university football programs, mainly from the state of Florida, but also all over the country, attend these football recruiting fairs. At the Lake Wales High School fair, it’s been recorded that athletes have received over 1.3 million dollars in football scholarships per year. Shafer said “All I ever wanted to do was establish more football players and offer a college education to more athletes all over the state of Florida to the kids that deserve to play.”

Shafer’s third goal, unfortunately, would not come to pass as his dream of establishing football at the Junior College level was shut down by the state of Florida.

Shafer’s fourth goal started when he received a call from former Warner University President Greg Hall. President Hall called Shafer in 2013 and asked if he would take over a football program that was planned to be cut after its inaugural season Shafer said, “When President Hall asked me to take this job and Mr. Steve Maxwell met with me, I prayed about it and asked God what he wanted me to do. I believed that God wanted me to come here to Warner and I still believe that it was His plan.” In his first three years at Warner, the Royals finished runner up twice in The Sun Conference and won the NCCAA National Championship in 2016.  In 2014, Shafer was named the Sun Conference Coach of the year, and in 2016 he was named the NCCAA National Coach of the Year.  His fourth goal remains in the works, but he vows to see the finish of Warner Football facilities on campus. For several years he has preached to players about having their own locker room on campus and their own field. With the current building of the Athletic Training Center next to the Turner Athletic Center, part of that goal will be achieved upon completion of that building in the near future. For the next phase of that goal, Shafer will remain as a part of a committee that is in the planning phase to bring Warner Football and potentially other teams onto the campus of Warner University.

In Shafer’s career, he’s been inducted into the Walbash River Football Hall of Fame in Indiana in 2012, then was inducted into the Florida High School Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

Shafer commented on his career, “I appreciate the opportunity of coaching at Warner. I just believe that after 43 years I need some time away from the grind to spend time with my grandchildren. I want to do more in the next 15 years of my life than I have done with the last 40 years for Christ. I have put off Fellowship of Christian Athletes missions trips to Brazil to help in their football outreach, and working with Haiti missions that my brother started for too long, and I will be helping out with that. I believe it is time, God has blessed me more than I deserve.”

Shafer has helped spread the gospel to over 600 football players in his tenure at Warner University alone.

Warner University Athletics and Warner University would like to thank Shafer for his service and his continued commitment to the advancement of Warner Royals Football.

The retirement ceremony is schedule for this Saturday’s Warner University vs. Webber International University football game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with senior day and retirement ceremony scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The game is held at Lakeland Christian H.S., Vikings Field. ALL FORMERS PLAYERS AND COACHES are encouraged to attend and will be admitted free of charge. Please come out and help us support Rod Shafer and his 2018 seniors.

Related Content

Valpo U Football Shatters Program Record for PFL Honor Roll Members

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Football Blogs,RRSN News | 0 Comments

Valpo Football Shatters Program Record for PFL Honor Roll Members The Valparaiso University football team established a new program record based on its performance in...

NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award 2022-23 State Winners

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Football Blogs,Headlines | 0 Comments

NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award 2022-23 State Winners (Name preceded by class/division/level within each state) Delaware 1A – Charter School of...

Four NFF Showcases Set to Help High School Seniors Find Millions in Scholarships

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Football Blogs,Headlines | 0 Comments

Four NFF Showcases Set to Help High School Seniors Find Millions in Scholarships Arizona, joins Houston, Southern California, South Florida, becoming the fourth NFF...

Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association announces 2023 Hall of Fame Class

by | Jan 24, 2023 | Baseball,Basketball,Featured,Football Blogs,Headlines | 0 Comments

2023 ISSA MEDIA RELEASE For the 27th year, the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association is pleased to announce its incoming Hall of Fame Class, set to be...

It’s Time to Show some Compassion towards our Officials

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Football Blogs,Headlines | 0 Comments

Do you remember the commercials in the 1980s titled “You make the call”? I think they were IBM advertisements. They were usually short snippets of a play in football...

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame and the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Football Blogs,Headlines | 0 Comments

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced Jan. 9 the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class during "Championship Drive Presented by...

NFF Salutes the College Football Playoff

by | Jan 12, 2023 | Football Blogs,Headlines | 0 Comments

IRVING, Texas (Jan. 12, 2023) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame salutes the College Football Playoff (CFP) and its staff, led by CFP...

NFF Presents Divisional Championship Trophies at AFCA Convention

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Featured,Football Blogs | 0 Comments

NFF Presents Divisional Championship Trophies at AFCA Convention South Dakota State wins school’s first national title; Ferris State (MI) claims back-to-back DII...

Taylor’s Lamb and Hohlbein Named Academic All-Americans

by | Jan 10, 2023 | Football Blogs,RRSN News | 0 Comments

Lamb and Hohlbein Named Academic All-Americans   AUSTIN, Texas – The College Sports Communicators (CSC), previously known as College Sports Information Directors of...