Shaffer takes over as coach for Reed City baseball


REED CITY — Marty Shaffer is making his debut this season as the new Reed City baseball coach.

Shaffer has been an assistant coach in the past including at Big Rapids Crossroads and Kalkaska.

He’s a Kalkaska native.

“I’ve been in the area working and umpired baseball for the last 12 years,” Shaffer said.

He currently lives in Big Rapids and has his own landscaping business.

Last fall, Shaffer learned there was a coaching vacancy in Reed City. He interviewed before Thanksgiving and got the job prior to the holidays.

“I went to college (Ferris State) to be a coach,” he said. “My major was in phys. ed. and coaching.”

Shaffer played golf, football, baseball and hockey at Kalkaska. He was all-state honorable mention in baseball his senior year and all-conference three times plus all-district and all-regional. He was a pitcher and catcher.

“I got asked to play at Adrian but I wanted to walk on to play hockey at Ferris,” he said. “I wound up playing club baseball at Ferris.”

As soon as he got the coaching job, Shaffer began preparing for the 2014 season.

“We’ve been doing open gyms basically since the second week in January,” he said. “We’ve had a pretty good turnout, pretty consistent all-around.”

As of last week, Shaffer was focusing on about 15 players per varsity and JV team.

“The varsity guys, just from umpiring around here, I’ve seen them the last two or three years,” Shaffer said. “That helped my decision to come here. There’s definitely some athletes here. I can see a lot of things.”

Shaffer, like other coaches, is hoping the snow will disappear soon. A game has been scheduled for March 25 but Shaffer indicated that because of the weather, it’s more likely the season will begin in mid-April.

“We’ll work on the fundamentals and get everyone in same page so no one is out in left field trying to figure out what’s going on,” Shaffer said.

His umpiring will be on hold while he focuses on coaching.

“I want to build a program,” he said. “We’re working on getting new stuff for the facilities, new batting cages, working with Little League, so we can get this so it’s not trying to rebuild every year.”