To the City Times
STEVENS POINT – Shirley Egner, the winning coach at UW-Stevens Point and WIAC Women’s Basketball History, announced her retirement from coaching on April 6th. Pointers’ head coach for the last 33 seasons, Egner accumulated a record of 572-292 at UWSP, i.a. won the second national championship in program history in 2002.
“I am extremely grateful to have spent 33 years mentoring young women at UWSP,” Egner said. “I tried to build this program as a challenger every season by playing hard and being selfless. Every year we would strive for a culture of excellence on and off the field and to compete consistently at a high level through every match. I have learned “so many invaluable life lessons from all the players who have gone through our program. Thank you for shaping my life.”
Egner became WIAC Coach of the Year four times and won the league’s honor in the seasons 2003-04, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2010-11. The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) named her Division III Women’s Coach of the Year for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012. In 2010, she was inducted into the WBCA Hall of Fame.
“Coach Egner is a beacon in the women’s basketball environment,” said UWSP’s director of athletics, Brad Duckworth. “Having served as a women’s basketball coach for 19 years, I can say that no one is more respected than Shirley. Between UWSP and her other head coaching stops, she has won over 700 matches. During her more than 30-year career, Coach has been monumental in the growth of its players and the Pointer program.Not only is our program better because of her, the game of women’s basketball, our department, our university and society is better because of her.I have the greatest respect for Coach and her whole family. Basketball has been her tool to influence others and I can also personally say that I am a better professional and person because of her. Although we will miss her passion and energy on the sidelines, she will not be far from Pointers Athletics. Women’s basketball program is in good shape going forward. The coach has certainly left a huge legacy “
The Pointers made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament under Egner. In addition to the national championship in 2002, her Pointers became number four in 2004 and reached Sweet 16 three other times as well as going to Elite 8 in 2010.
Egner led the Pointers to WIAC titles in the regular season in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her team won the WIAC tournament six times, including in 2008, when her Pointers became the first non-No. 1-seed to win the WIAC Tournament Championship.
Since 2000, Egner’s Pointers have the best record among all WIAC teams at 423-173 (.710). Egner won her 700th match as a basketball coach on February 10, 2021. In 2019, she became the first coach to win 300 WIAC league matches.
Off the field, Egner was instrumental in her program raising $ 50,000 for the Hope is Building initiative without the help of corporate money. “I am proud of all the past and present players who have volunteered for hours in this community,” Egner continued. “Our program was able to raise $ 50,000 through Project Embrace and Hope is Building initiatives to raise funding for the St. Michaels Breast Care Center.”
Six women basketball players received the Judy Kruckman WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award during Egner’s tenure at UWSP. Egner also served as chair of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Committee from 2006-08.
Egner’s career led to coaching stopping at Nicholls State University, Shiocton High School and Waunakee High School before arriving at UWSP.
She went on to say: “Seeing young women grow into successful professionals and motherhood has been extremely satisfying for me. I want to cherish the lifelong relationships I have been able to develop over time.”
Egner talked about his player’s parents and the UWSP fan base. “The player’s parents and our fans have remarkably supported our basketball program throughout my career. So many memories were created by traveling to away games around the state and we can not forget our holiday trips during the Christmas holidays. The environment you have created in Berg, definitely helps us in crucial moments on the field. ”
And the gratitude continued: “A big thank you to the athletics directors Frank O’Brien and Brad Duckworth for guiding and supporting me throughout my career at Stevens Point. To my amazing assistant coaches, thank you for standing by my side and for
keep me off the field. To my mom and my sisters, thanks for the coaching help and for being my # 1 fan. To Amy and Jordan, I would not have been able to achieve any achievement without the unconditional love and support of you.
Thank you for allowing me to welcome a new family into our family every season for the past 30 years. It has been quite a journey and you have always been there for me. ”
Egner concluded by saying, “I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish during my tenure. It has truly been an honor to serve this university and community.”