After a two-year hiatus, the UMKC is bringing back its track and field program for the 2022-23 season.
Along with golf and cross country, the athletic department suspended the track and field program in October of 2020 due to budgetary challenges. Coaches were left without jobs, and student athletes faced financial difficulties after losing scholarships. Now, former head coach Benaud Shirley will reclaim the reins of Kansas City Track and Field effective July 1, 2022.
“This is a great day for Kansas City Track and Field,” Shirley said. “I am very happy and excited for our student-athletes, especially the ones that remained through the suspension. I am very proud of their patience and resilience through the process.”
This will be Shirley’s third season as head coach, and his 16th year on staff overall. When Shirley was an associate head coach from 2011-18, the Roos brought home five conference championships. Under his leadership in the 2019-2020 season, UMKC athletes earned both the male and female conference athlete of the year awards.
“I’m honored to announce the return of the Track and Field program at Kansas City Athletics,” Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Dr. Brandon Martin said. “I’m thoroughly convinced that under Coach Shirley’s leadership, our track and field program will transition from reinstatement to high performance in short order.”