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Janae Shirley is ETBU softball and has carried on the tradition she played for and now has inherited as a coach. In six years leading the program she has led ETBU to new heights winning the NCAA Division III National Championship in 2010, playing in four NCAA Tournaments, and winning two American Southwest Conference championships.
Winning the program’s seventh ASC Championship in 2013, Shirley continues to have one of the best programs in the nation. ETBU claimed the 2013 ASC Championship in style sweeping through the bracket going 4-0 with two wins over then #1 Texas-Tyler. The final victory of the tournament to take the championship was her 200th career win. ETBU then went 3-2 in the NCAA Division III Tyler Regional tournament falling in the championship game. With a final record of 37-12 ETBU finished ranked ninth in the final NFCA National Poll as they were ranked for 12 straight weeks. Overall, ETBU played 16 games against ranked opponents and went 10-6 as nine of those games came against top 10 opponents.
Shirley’s finest season came in 2010 with an unbelievable run through the NCAA Tournament to win ETBU’s first-ever NCAA Division III national championship. Playing out of the loser’s bracket of the regional tournament, ETBU went on an eight-game winning streak to take the national championship. ETBU won four straight in the regional tournament, defeating host Louisiana College two games straight, and then tore through the championship tournament going 4-0. In the 5-4 win over Linfield for the national championship, they came from behind to pull off what became a Cinderella season with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In six years, she has won two American Southwest Conference championships in 2011 and 2013. ETBU won the ASC East Division Championship in 2011 and then went 4-1 in the ASC Tournament playing through the loser’s bracket for the championship. After falling to Texas-Tyler, ETBU defeated Mississippi College, 6-1, and then won two straight games over Texas-Tyler, 8-0, and 4-3. The 2013 championship mimicked a lot of the 2011 championship only ETBU went 4-0 in the tournament. Shelby Parker threw a perfect game for the first win over Howard Payne, 8-0, and then came from behind for a 3-1 win over #20 Texas Lutheran. ETBU then defeated #1 Texas-Tyler, 10-9, and 6-2, for the championship.
Shirley’s teams have made four NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013. She has posted a 14-7 record in those four appearances winning a regional title and a national championship. ETBU hosted the 2009 West Regional Tournament while being the #1 seed. In six years, ETBU has also been nationally ranked reaching #1 in the nation in 2009. They were ranked all of the 2011 season and for 12 straight weeks in 2013.
A part of the ETBU program since 2003, Shirley started out in the program as a player and then became an assistant coach. She was a member of the 2003, 2004 and 2005 teams winning two ASC Championshis and playing in two NCAA regional tournaments. She then became an assistant coach for two years in 2006 and 2007 before taking over the program in 2008.
Along with winning, her program has set high academic standards. She has had two players voted CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, three ASC Softball Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, and numerous ASC All-Academic team members. Both Lya Swaner and Ashton Brey have earned the ASC’s nomination for NCAA Female Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
Six years later, Shirley has the ETBU softball program back where it was in the early 2000s and geared up for more success to come.
Shirley is married to ETBU alumnus Guy who played one season of baseball at ETBU. They have been married since the summer 2007 and have two boys, Carter (4), and Major who was born in December 2013.
Coach Shirley Accomplishments
By the Years
Under Coach Shirley
Top 9 Finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year