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Navarro hires Ronda Shirley as new volleyball coach

By MIKE MONTFORT   —

Navarro College hired Ronda Shirley as its new volleyball coach, athletic director Roark Montgomery announced Monday.

Shirley, an NJCAA Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee in 2015, amassed 520 career victories during an illustrious 18-year career at Tyler JC and at Hutchinson CC, Ks.

Ronda ShirleyShirley coached teams to the NJCAA Tournament 8 times within an 11-year span (2004-14), including a national runner-up finish in 2013.

She’s coached 47 all-conference, 36 all-region, 14 All-American, 6 freshman Players of the Year, 4 conference MVPs and 9 Academic All-Americans during a decorated career that includes 8 NJCAA District Coach of the Year awards.

“I feel extremely fortunate to hire Coach Shirley with her track record and results,” Montgomery said. “I know she is looking forward to hit the recruiting trail as soon as possible.”

Shirley coached the last two seasons at Tyler Robert E. Lee High School.  Her team went 27-16 and qualified for the 6A playoffs — an 11-game improvement over her first season.

In five seasons at TJC, Shirley’s Apache Ladies posted a 143-46 record (.757), including a final three-year mark of 102-18.  Those three seasons were punctuated by consecutive 30-plus-win seasons, successive undefeated conference championships, 2 NJCAA Tournament appearances and 1 NJCAA Tournament runner-up finish.

During 2010-11, Shirley arrived at Tyler from Hutchinson, Ks., and replaced a retiring Dana Hatch as the TJC program’s second head volleyball coach.

The Earling, Iowa, native, originally was hired by Hutchinson CC to coach softball. She had a late opportunity to choose between coaching softball or volleyball.  She chose volleyball, and the rest is only a part of her history.  HCC’s winningest volleyball coach guided the Blue Dragons to 378 victories in 13 seasons with five Region VI Championships, five NJCAA Tournament appearances and four Jayhawk West titles with six years.

Shirley is a 1992 graduate of Brown Mackie College in Salina, Ks., and a 1995 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan University in Owensboro, Ky.

Coach Shirley and her husband, Jeff, have six children.

Shirley inherits a Navarro volleyball program that endured a 6-31 season, a winless Region XIV North Zone campaign, and concluded 2016 on a 14-match losing streak.  The Bulldogs had successive winning campaigns in 2014 (23-10) and 2015 (19-12).

Navarro lists seven freshmen on its current roster.  The squad will lose three sophomore all-conference players in first-teamer Tielar Richards and second-teamers Mariah Kamake’eaina and Taylor Selfridge.