Samantha Shaffer is back to help lead one of the NAIA’s top softball programs.

The Ottawa University softball program announced the hiring of Shaffer as the new full-time assistant coach. Shaffer is an alumna and was a letter winner on the basketball court and softball diamond for the Braves.

“It’s good to be back home in Brave nation,” Shaffer said in an OU news release. “I’ve had to opportunity to grow and gain knowledge of the game from Coach Clay Davis at Northeastern State University. I’m excited to get the opportunity to work under Coach Jay Kahnt. He taught me the importance of how to represent the black and gold in the right way. It will be a huge honor to help pass that wisdom on to the future Braves.”

Shaffer graduated from Ottawa University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She played in 88 career games and made 47 starts at Ottawa University, posting a career batting average of .248 (32-for-129) to go along with one double, four triples, 15 RBI, and 50 runs scored. She was also 49-for-50 on stolen-base attempts.

The Braves tallied a record of 140-83 during her time with the program and helped guide the team to back-to-back KCAC Championships (2010-11) and a berth in the NAIA National Championship tournament (2010). Ottawa finished the 2011 campaign with a then program-record 32 victories.

“I am very excited to have Sam joining the coaching staff,” Kahnt, OU head softball coach, said in the release. “She is one of the smartest players that I have ever coached and I am looking forward to her sharing her knowledge and softball IQ with our team. The last few years, she had a chance to learn from a great coach in Coach Davis at Northeastern State University. Sam will bring a lot of energy to our program and a great work ethic. Her personality allows her to be a great recruiter and the players will enjoy being around her on a daily basis. It is great to have an alumnus back and coaching in our program.”

Before coming to Ottawa University, Shaffer spent two years as a graduate assistant coach with Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She helped guide the Riverhawks to a record of 55-54, including a seven game improvement in the win column in 2018. While at NSU, Shafffer assisted with outfielders, catchers and base running. She coached six all-conference players for the Riverhawks.

Prior to NSU, Shaffer was the head softball coach and housing director at Ellsworth Community College located in Iowa Falls, Iowa, from August 2013 to May of 2015. At ECC, Shaffer coached eight all-conference players.