Horizon football coach Doug Shaffer stepped down this week, citing his health.
Shaffer suffered a broken foot in late November, which he said continues to heal very slowly, and, even if eventually fully healed, wasn’t sure how the foot would respond to Horizon’s upcoming installation of FieldTurf.
Additionally, he said a bout with skin cancer two weeks ago required a procedure and 33 stiches in his forehead. He’s hopeful but not sure if all the potentially cancerous skin has been completely removed.
The combination led to his decision.
“You ask the kids to give 100 percent and go full-bore and I don’t know if I can do that,” he said Thursday. “I don’t know if I’ll be ready in two months (for spring practices). I can’t ask the kids to give full-bore and I don’t want to be out there if I can’t do it either.”
Shaffer plans to continue being around the program to varying degrees. He led Horizon to its only state football championship in the mid-1990s, stepped down from coaching varsity 12 years ago and coached the lower levels, then took over the program again last winter on the basis he’d coach for only two seasons.
The young Huskies were 8-3 and earned a Division II playoff berth in 2012.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.