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Former Falcon new Hebron football coach

Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer

Former Atlanta Falcon Kevin Shaffer is the new head football coach at Hebron Christian Academy.

The Dacula private school announced the promotion of Shaffer, who will replace Sal Battaglia, on Friday.

"Kevin Shaffer is an outstanding Christian coach who will surround himself with the right staff and will set high expectations for the players," Hebron athletic director Bryan Bartley said in a press release. "In terms of Hebron's future football outlook, I believe the best is yet to come."

The departure of Battaglia came as a surprise to the former coach, who found out on Tuesday he would not be the head coach for the 2013 season.

"I had no idea. It was an unexpected surprise," Battaglia said of his dismissal. "I thought we had the program in the right direction. They said they wanted to move in a different direction."

Battaglia was 5-15 in his two years at the school. The team went 1-9 last year during its first season of region play. The six-year-old program played mostly freshmen and sophomores last season.

"It took me by surprise, but it's the nature of the beast in coaching," Battaglia said. "I love those kids like my sons."

Hebron returns 16 starters this season and Battaglia is optimistic the team will be much improved after playing a tough region that produced five of the seven playoff teams and three in the semifinals.

"I feel bad because I wanted to be here for the boys and watch them compete," Battaglia said. "I think they are going to be competitive in the region this year."

Shaffer will be the fourth coach in seven years for Hebron. He spent the last two years as the offensive line coach at Hebron, so he's familiar with the program.

"My vision as head coach at Hebron Christian Academy is to dominate on the field and have fun together off the field, all while doing everything following Christ's example and putting Him at the forefront," Shaffer said.

Prior to joining the Hebron staff, Shaffer enjoyed a nine-year career in the NFL. He was an all-conference player at Tulsa before being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. The Pittsburgh native played four years in Atlanta, three years with the Cleveland Browns and two years with the Chicago Bears.

"The hiring of Kevin Shaffer should send a strong signal throughout Lion Country that a time of special emphasis to improve our athletic program is underway," Hebron headmaster Tim Hillen said. "Our theme for next year, 'Good to great in God's eyes' is certainly appropriate and applicable to what our desires and expectations are for our athletic department. I believe Kevin is God's man at this time to move our football program steadily forward."

THE SHAFFER FILE

Name: Kevin Shaffer

New position: Head football coach at Hebron Christian Academy

Former position: Offensive line coach at Hebron Christian Academy

Education: Graduated from Conestoga Valley High School (Pa.) in 1998; attended the University of Tulsa

Playing/coaching experience: Three-year starter at Tulsa, earning All-WAC honors; was a national strength and conditioning All-American; voted offensive MVP senior in 2001; selected in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, playing four years with the Falcons; also played three years for the Cleveland Browns and two with the Chicago Bears before retiring in 2010; spent two years as the offensive line coach at Hebron

Family: Wife Tara; children Ava, Austin, Alyssa

Comments

anon73 10 months, 3 weeks ago

People might want to check with GHSA on this. People that do not teach cannot be head coaches. They can be a community coach, but not a head coach.

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JBSjgalt 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Best of luck to Mr. Schaeffer!

In the opinion of many, Hebron Academy has become a path of destruction with regards to a coach or teacher's career. The football coach that went 9-1, best record ever in football at Hebron, was replaced by Battaglia. The baseball coach who led his team to a state championship was treated without respect and resigned on his own accord. Both of these men model integrity, the kind of men you want your boys to learn life lessons from on and off the field. In addition to the revolving door of coaches, there are many loyal and well respected k-12 teachers and other staff who have either been dismissed or out of discernment for their own careers have resigned their posts. Teachers with years of dedication to the ministry at HCA have found themselves working in more of a business/political atmosphere that is competitive among the staff. Competitiveness belongs on the field, not IN the field among a christian staff. Even the newest Headmaster outlines on the school website a list of bullet points in which the school needs to improve. He might want to add: valuing godly servants that have dedicated their lives to serving children and their families through all kinds of changes and circumstances at HCA. "RE-Building" a program every 2-3 years, really isn't building anything. It is just "re-decorating" to cover up a deeper problem. Good luck Lion Country!

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alt1man 9 months, 1 week ago

I read the first post which stated

"People might want to check with GHSA on this. People that do not teach cannot be head coaches. They can be a community coach, but not a head coach"

This was pretty concerning, I send my kids there and expect a school like this to have certified teachers in these positions. Then I understood that he was hired not only as a FB coach but in some administrator capacity... It then all made sense... Shaffer was brought in as a big name to attract talent. Clearly can't be because of his coaching knowledge or teaching knowledge. He has never run a HS program and does not have a teaching degree... Looked up his background and I'm not totally sure he has any degree. Hebron should have called this for what it was and hired him as the "Marketing Director". I hope he does well as it will be positive for the school my children go to but the whole move is a little smelly to me...

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