Shirley takes reins on Lady Buff soccer

From staff reports

   Milligan athletic director Ray Smith announced on Thursday that men's head soccer coach Marty Shirley will also take over the women's program on an interim basis for the 2002 season.
   Shirley, who in 2001 led the men's team to 15 wins in his first season, will coach both teams this fall while the college continues its search to fill the position left open last month when John Garvilla took a job at Troy State University in Alabama.
   "We feel this is the best decision for the program and athletes, due to the short amount of time before the beginning of the season on August 24," said Smith, who would like to have someone permanent in place by January.
   Shirley inherits a women's team that has been one of the strongest in the region since its inception in 1997. The Lady Buffs have won the Appalachian Athletic Conference three of the last five years and qualified for the National Championship in 2001. The team ranked in the top 25 of the NAIA throughout the 2001 season, finishing 12th, with an 18-3-3 record. The program has produced nine All-Americans and 30 All-Conference players in its short history.
   Shirley, who is a Milligan alumnus, returned to the college in the fall of 1997 as assistant coach under Garvilla for both the men's and women's programs. He was named head coach of the men's program in 2001. In his first year, he led the Buffs to a 15-7 record and a birth in the finals of the AAC Championship.
   As a student athlete at Milligan, Shirley set the all-time scoring record with 90 points. The record stood until last season. He was a two-time MVP of the Buffs.
   "We are fortunate that Marty will take on this responsibility and we feel that the program will continue in the right direction," stated Smith.