When Augusta Prep hits the field March 2 to begin its baseball season, there will be a new face – but not an unfamiliar one – at the helm.
Tim Shafer, who was the head coach from 2002 to 2005 and an assistant coach from 2009 to 2011, has returned to guide the Cavaliers.
Shafer, a math teacher at the school for the past 12 years, is looking forward to getting back to the diamond after a year away.
“Last year was the first year in my 30-year teaching career I didn’t coach anything,” said Shafer, who has also coached basketball at the school. “I definitely missed that change of pace activity, I missed teaching the kids at practice.”
But even while not on the field, he was still able to contribute in his primary role.
“My career path has always been as a math teacher,” he said. “Opportunities I’ve gotten, teaching math has been my No. 1 priority. This is an excellent fit for me here at Augusta Prep.”
Among Shafer’s previous stops as a baseball coach were Lovett School in Atlanta from 1988 to 1993, when his teams won four region titles and two state championships. He downplayed his role on those successful teams.
“I don’t think I have any particular forte other than I’ve been fortunate when I have talented teams to be able to put the pieces together right,” Shafer said. “I’m sure people would say anyone could’ve coached those teams and I’m sure they’re right, but I didn’t mess them up, anyway.”
He is confident in being able to handle what needs to be done.
“I can do what baseball coaches need to do. I can teach baseball, I can handle all the challenges the kids have balancing the academics and athletics, I can be a good role model for the student-athletes, and we’re going to do well.”
He expects to be ahead of where the Cavs were when he first started.
“This is a completely different situation from when I took over 11 years ago,” said Shafer. “We had three innings of pitching experience, total. This year we have three pitchers on the team who pitched significant innings last year, who are capable of handling the pressures of pitching at the varsity level this year. Just right there it means we’re going to be countless times better.”
Joining Shafer on the field as an assistant will be Harry Bacheller.
“Incorporating his expertise is going to be a goal,” said Shafer. “He’ll coach third base and assume a lot of responsibility. We’ll have a real good partnership, and it should be fun.”