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Shaffer’s Legacy

HHS coach retires as winningest coach in Ohio high school tennis history
Arabella Keim
Coach Shaffer poses with the team as they celebrate his retirement with a cookie cake.

Legendary Hoover coach Mr. Ryan Shaffer is retiring after decades of coaching a variety of sports, which includes baseball, football, basketball, and as Hoover best knows him for, tennis. As he wraps up his final season coaching, his legacy as coach will continue in the Hoover tennis program. He enjoys many things about his career of coaching the variety of athletes he has coached. His favorite part about coaching are the players and the success each one can achieve.

“My favorite thing about coaching is my relationship with the kids,” he said. “I enjoy my players and taking those kids and molding them into a team. That process is my favorite part.”

Coach Shaffer is known for his success with an overall win record of 1045 wins and 175 loses. A record like this doesn’t happen without grit and a good work ethic. Part of this is he doesn’t just have goals for himself, he has goals for the team.

“Well I have had good players, good support from parents, and supportive administrators,” he said. “I think from a personal standpoint is my personal growth and I’ve grown tremendously as a person.”

When you spend the majority of your days alongside the students that you devote so much of your time to, it’s hard to see them go. Shaffer describes how the thing he will miss the most are the days spent with his players.

“I’m going to miss the day to day interactions with my players and the process of molding them,” he said. “It’s the most satisfying part of coaching and seeing what they can accomplish.”

Coach Shaffer has spent many months devoting his time and attention to reaching his players full potential. He has both the girls and boys teams working together every summer and winter to help better each other’s tennis games.

Coach Shaffer stands with his team of varsity girls tennis players after one of their matches this season. (Arabella Keim)

“Their experience and hard work over the winter will pay dividends,” he said.

He believes that the off-season work the team puts in is the biggest factor of the team’s success. Considering that a successful coach, like Shaffer, believes in hard work during the off season is beneficial, it should be focused on by coaches in the future.

Senior tennis player Jackson Vance has been playing under Coach Shaffer for all four years of high school. He said that he learned many lessons from him and appreciates all the advice given by him throughout the years.

“My biggest takeaway is to focus on what you can control,” Vance said. “If you follow the process and keep a good attitude and level of effort, then results will come.”

Everyone who plays for Coach Shaffer knows the discipline and effort it takes to be a part of his team. His attitude is something that is unforgettable and successful.

“I will miss Coach Shaffer’s motivational attitude and work ethic the most,” Vance said. “He leads by example and is always pushing himself and others to be the best they can be.”

Coaching a group of teenage athletes, unsurprisingly, doesn’t always go as planned in terms of visions of success, but these bumps in the road on the way to success are what shape a respectable coach.

“I think Coach Shaffer has had as much success as he has had because he doesn’t settle for anything less,” Vance said. “Nothing is ever good enough or perfect, and his constant positive attitude when chasing perfection has led him to achieve impressive things.”

Sophomore girls tennis player Maria Wadley has been playing under Coach Shaffer for two years and is sad to see him go so early in her career.

“My biggest take away is the amount of work you put in is what you will get out of it,” she said. “I will miss his ability to make all of us work harder and do our best.”

Coach Shaffer made sure to have everyone carry their own weight to not let the team down. It was important to him to get the team wins rather than the individual wins. His legacy will forever have an imprint on the Hoover tennis programs.

“I think he had the success that he did because he made sure that everyone was doing their best and pulling their own weight for the team,” Wadley said

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About the Contributors
Sarah McHolm
Sarah McHolm, Copy Editor
My name is Sarah and this is my first year on staff! I enjoy researching and writing about topics I’m interested in. I am involved in lacrosse, tennis, and choir here at the high school!
Arabella Keim
Arabella Keim, PAI Editor
Hi! I’m Arabella, I’m a senior and this is my 3rd year on staff! Here in PAI Land, we are a cinnamon apple pumpkin PAI. I am a varsity and competitive cheerleader. I love Molly Andrews so much; she is the beat queen!