Saturday, March 08, 2014 3:02 AM
Published on: Wednesday, January 08, 2014
by Brandy Louis Simms, Sentinel Sports Reporter
The Bob Shields era at Riverdale Baptist has come to an end.
Shields, who guided the Upper Marlboro private school’s football team to an 11-0 record this past season, has resigned as head coach in order to address an important family matter.
“There was a medical emergency that needed my immediate attention,” he said.
Shields spent nearly a decade as the Crusaders’ head coach and took the program from the basement to the penthouse in eight seasons at the helm. He began his tenure at Riverdale Baptist as a volunteer assistant to the middle school team in 2003 and was promoted to head junior varsity coach a year later. In 2006, Shields accepted the position as varsity head coach.
During his reign, Shields led Riverdale Baptist to a 42-34 record including a perfect season in 2013.
“I think we were able to accomplish some really good things at Riverdale,” said Shields. “It’s just been an unbelievable run.”
The Crusaders captured the Capital Area Football Conference championship with a 14-6 win over Perry Street Prep in November and Shields was honored as the CAFC Coach of the Year.
“It was a dream season,” he said. “It really was a dream season.”
Although Shields won’t be the Crusaders’ head coach he said he would still remain close to the program. He estimated that Riverdale Baptist has sent “close to 40 kids” to the college ranks during his tenure.
Former Riverdale Baptist student-athletes have earned scholarships to various college programs at all levels including Division I schools such as New Hampshire and Temple.
“You may not see them at Florida State,” he said, “but they’re living their dream.”
Shields said the school would soon be making an announcement on his successor and the football program would be in good hands.
“I definitely think things are ready to go in a good direction from here forward,” said Shields.