Longtime Cody High School track and cross country coach Scott Shaffer has been selected for the Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Shaffer, 55, will be inducted in a ceremony July 19 in Casper.
“The biggest thing for me is that it is a recognition for Cody track and field,” Shaffer said. “It is not a thing you can do by yourself.”
Twenty years into his connection with CHS, Shaffer has been a head coach or assistant coach for indoor and outdoor track teams that have featured 127 state medalists.
A one-time world-class pole vaulter, Shaffer is renowned for his ability to teach that discipline and on his watch Bronc and Filly vaulters have won 33 state championships and earned 32 state runner-up finishes.
The camera-shy Shaffer said one of his first reactions upon being notified of his selection (he has been able to keep it mostly quiet since spring) was pondering how the school has recognized past honorees by hanging plaques on the wall featuring images of the coaches.
Shaffer thought, “Oh, my god, I’m going to have to take a picture for that.”
He is one of five longtime coaches who will be inducted this month. The others are: Randy Adams, a Little League and middle school coach from Torrington; Dick Edgcomb, a soccer coach from Buffalo; Jim Gardner, a multi-sport coach from Cheyenne and at Laramie County Community College; and Tom Seamans, coach of several sports in Green River and Gillette.
Criteria for selection to the Hall rewards coaches who have been active for 20 years, won state titles and served on committees to help improve their sports.
Some months ago, Shaffer realized he met all of the criteria.
“I knew it was possible,” he said.
He did wonder if a 2011 controversy would bar his entrance to the Hall.
“I didn’t know if that would affect things,” Shaffer said.
In September of that year, Shaffer yelled at an opposing cross country runner after seeing her elbow a Filly competitor in the face.
The-then Cody superintendent removed Shaffer as cross country coach, but the school board voted to retain Shaffer as track coach.
In response, the Wyoming State Athletic Association decreed any team coached by Shaffer would be banned from postseason play.
Students rebelled, filing a complaint. Rather than fight the situation at the time, Shaffer, also a teacher, resigned.
He overcame the happenings of that time period, returned to coaching at CHS and has been an integral part of cross country and track success in recent years as an assistant.
Shaffer said his basic response to being selected for the Hall was, “OK, that’s pretty cool.”
One of the few people he let know prior to the public announcement was his brother Jim, a Wyoming high school basketball coach, who is already a member of the Hall of Fame.
Shaffer said his gratitude is focused on relationships formed at CHS with athletes, coaches and administrators.
“I’m super pleased for Cody High,” Shaffer said. “I am deeply, deeply proud of what we’ve been able to do. It was a long time of working with a lot of good people.”