FAYETTEVILLE – Former Razorback and director of operations Amber Shirey
has been promoted to assistant coach for the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team, head coach Tom Collen
Shirey replaces Greg Collins who took an assistant coaching position at Western Kentucky.
“We are really excited to have Amber back on the floor coaching and recruiting,” said Collen. “It was a goal for me from day one to put her back in that position when I had staff changes. When I brought my staff from Louisville, Amber graciously accepted my basketball operations position out of loyalty to the program and has been an unbelievable asset as we have delivered this program back to the level where we all knew it should be, in the NCAA tournament. I have said many times over the past five years and I will repeat it once again. No one loves the Razorbacks more than Amber Shirey
and no one has been more valuable to our program’s success than her. I know she is excited to help take us back to the level of success her team’s accomplished when she was one of the best players in this program’s history.”
Shirey began her career at Arkansas as a player for the Razorbacks (1989-92) becoming the first women’s student-athlete selected to receive a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She closed her career as one of two players in school history to rank on four career total lists (points, 6th; rebounds, 10th; steals, 2nd; assists, 1st). Twice named All-Southwest Conference, she was the MVP of the 1991 SWC tournament, leading Arkansas to the first non-Texas title. Shirey equaled her court performance in the classroom. A kinesiology major, she had over a 3.9 GPA, and twice was voted to the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Academic All-America Team. She was a three-time conference academic team member.
Shirey graduated and went on to a student coaching role for one season before being named assistant coach, a position she held for 14 seasons with two different head coaches.
In 2007, when current head coach Tom Collen
returned to Arkansas, Shirey redefined herself in a new role as executive director of operations, a position she held until returning to the sidelines as the Razorback assistant this week.
In her current position as assistant, Shirey will prepare scouting reports, assist in practice planning, game preparation and film breakdown. She will also assist with all facets of the recruiting process and monitor the Razorbacks’ academic progress.
The former Amber Nicholas is married to Jason Shirey. Coach of the Fayetteville High softball team, Jason led the Lady Bulldogs to back-to-back state championships in 2006 and 2007. The Shireys have three children, a son, Ross, and daughters, Reese and Rheid.