Philadelphia University women’s basketball coach Tom Shirley reached a momentous 600 career coaching win milestone in his team’s 76-60 victory over the visiting Chestnut Hill College Griffins on Wednesday, Jan. 19 in The Gallagher Athletic Center.
His career with the Rams began in 1989. He has been Philadelphia University’s athletic director since 1992. In the 1992-93 season, the Rams received their first-ever NCAA Division II tournament bid and finished 27-2 ― earning Shirley National Coach of the Year honors.
He has coached seven All-Americans (four at PhilaU and three at DeSales University, his previous coaching position).
Following the win, a courtside ceremony was held to honor Coach Shirley’s accomplishment. President Spinelli presented Coach Shirley with a 600 wins game ball, and a banner was unfurled in the gym to honor his milestone.
President Spinelli also presented a check to Coach Shirley for $3,596 to be added to the Thomas R. Shirley Sr. Scholarship Fund, established in memory of Coach Shirley’s father. The money was raised by women’s basketball alumni, colleagues, family and friends, along with the Philadelphia University President’s Council.
Coach Shirley is Philadelphia’s winningest active women’s basketball coach. In the City of Brotherly Love, only Villanova’s Harry Perretta is close with 594 victories as of January 19.
Shirley is ranked fourth all-time in Philly among women’s coaches after Jim Foster (formerly at St. Joe’s and currently at Ohio State) with 716 wins at the start of 2010-11, Rene Portland (formerly at St. Joe’s and retired) with 693 wins and Theresa Grentz (formerly at St. Joe’s and currently retired) with 671 victories.
PhilaU improved to 8-6 overall and 4-3 in the CACC with the win Wednesday night. Four PhilaU starters scored in double-digits to help aid the win, as PhilaU junior forward Christine Wooding led all with 20 points, along with eight rebounds.
PhilaU takes the court next at the University of the Sciences on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.
Congratulations Coach Shirley and the Lady Rams!