In his two decades coaching football at Pepperell High School, football coach Jeff Shiflett has spent a lot of time mentoring, teaching and molding the young men of Lindale. Now, he feels it is time to dedicate more time to his sons and family.
Shiflett resigned as head football coach of Pepperell High School today, ending a long and successful coaching tenure at the school. Shiflett is not only a coach in the community but Lindale and Dragon country is where he grew up, went to school and where he has made a home for his family.
“For the last 21 years I have given my heart and soul to the program and I am now at a time in my life where I need to adjust my priorities and explore other opportunities,” Shiflett said. "I am not really sure what those opportunities hold for me right now but I want to take some time to find the right path that will be a good fit for me and my family." Coach Shiflett has a son in college, one in high school and one in elementary school. His youngest son was diagnosed with Epilepsy just two months after he became head coach at Pepperell. “It is time for me to dedicate some of my time and energy to Epilepsy education in the community for people and families dealing with this condition," Shiflett said. His family is active in support of Epilepsy education and formed team Cambo named for his son Camden to participate in an Epilepsy walk this past fall. "I want to thank the coaches, players, families and community members who are a part of the Dragon family," Shiflett concluded. "I have always been and will always be a Dragon!"
Shiflett started his coaching career in 1994 as an assistant coach on the Dragon staff. He coached defensive and offensive lines, tight ends, running backs and special teams over the years as an assistant coach. Shiflett was part of 97 wins during his time as an assistant.
Shiflett took the reins as head coach and athletic director of the successful Dragon football program in February, 2007 and continued the winning tradition. His teams added another 56 wins over the eight seasons and made the GHSA playoffs seven consecutive years.
Not only did he win football games but he helped numerous student athletes to extend their playing time and educational opportunities beyond high school to some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. For five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013 a player on the Dragons team signed a Division I NCAA scholarship with young men signing at Georgia State, Army, South Carolina, Alabama, LSU and Air Force. He helped many other players secure scholarships at other area colleges. "Seeing kids succeed in whatever they undertake after high school is very satisfying for a coach and teacher," Shiflett said. "In life or in athletics, football and sports teach valuable life lessons that help our young people find their place in the community."
Phil Ray, principal at Pepperell, hired Shiflett as head coach. “Coach Shiflett was a great player at PHS and has been an integral part of our school faculty for 21 years so we will certainly miss his commitment to success of all students in the Lindale community,” Ray said. “His consistency in making the playoffs and helping young men to obtain scholarships will be a benchmark for future Dragon coaches." Ray added, "Jeff Shiflett is more than just a winning football coach with an outstanding record, he is a leader who serves as a great role model for our student body." In his time at Pepperell, Shiflett has also been head coach of wrestling, baseball and JV basketball. He has been a head coach of a sport at the school since 1996. Ray concluded, "We wish Coach Shiflett the best in his future endeavors."
Shiflett has been recognized for his commitment to the students he works with on the field, in the classroom and in the community. He was the 2001 Pepperell High "Teacher of the Year" and He is a past recipient of the school system’s Distinguished Service Award. Shiflett was nominated for the award by a parent whose son was offered the opportunity to play football at a local college. The parent wrote, "Coach Shiflett took the time out of his busy schedule to spend a Saturday helping our family through the process. He was the only coach at the college that day representing a student athlete. Coach Shiflett is a good teacher, coach, and man; who is willing to give more than necessary to support children." Coach Shiflett is also a regular at Pepperell area youth league games supporting the players and coaches hoping to one day play as a Dragon.
Shiflett and his wife, Janie, have three sons, Corey, Caleb and Camden.