FAYETTEVILLE — Head coaches may come and go but Amber Shirey remains a fixture in Arkansas women’s basketball.
Shirey has had many roles, from student assistant, graduate assistant, assistant coach and director of operations over the years. This season, under the direction of first-year head coach Jimmy Dykes, Shirey moves into the role of director of basketball operations for the Razorbacks.
In her position as assistant, Shirey will handle a variety of duties including scheduling, travel, budgets and recruiting.
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.
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.