Landers' assistant now head coach at Richmond

ATHENS – After assisting Andy Landers in one role or another for 11 years, Georgia women's basketball assistant coach Michael Shafer has moved to a head coaching position.

Shafer was announced Tuesday as the new coach of the Richmond Spiders, returning to the state where he attended college and taking over a team that made the NCAA Women's Tournament last season. Since graduating from William & Mary, where he played basketball, in 1994, Shafer has assisted Landers.

"I've got a lot of friends in this area," Shafer said. "It's going to be an easy transition. Being familiar with the area makes it a lot easier."

Shafer, 33, interviewed in Virginia on Sunday and was offered the job Monday morning after returning to Athens, he said. He is the son of John Shafer, who was the director of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame before resigning after seven months early in 2003.

"When I got offered the job, my emotions just skyrocketed and then they went straight to the bottom because I had to go in and tell a great friend of mine that I was leaving and taking a great job," Shafer said.

Shafer, the Lady Bulldogs' chief recruiter for most of the last decade, was promoted to associate head coach in 2003.

"This is something that Coach Shafer has been prepared for for quite some time," Landers said. "He has patiently waited for the right opportunity to come along that he felt strongly about. The University of Richmond presents just that. He has, at one time or another, been involved in every aspect of our program, and he has excelled at each and every one of those tasks."

The Spiders were left looking for a coach when Joanne Boyle left earlier this month to take the head coaching job at Cal. Richmond is expected to return 11 players, including four starters, from last year's team.

"The camaraderie of this team made this decision, which is a tough one for me, very easy," Shafer said. "They make you feel like family instantaneously."

Dawg Post Top Stories