Jeff Shirk was named Washington College's 11th men's lacrosse coach during the summer of 2010 and has since left an indelible mark on the program's illustrious history.
In his first season, Shirk guided a young Shoremen team to its first win over a nationally-ranked opponent in nearly three years. The following season, Shirk was named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year, guiding the Shoremen to a first-place finish in the Centennial Conference regular season for the first time since 2004 and landing them a spot in both the Centennial Conference Championship game and the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2008.
In 2013, Shirk again led the Shoremen to an NCAA Division III Tournament appearance as they won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 2008 and were ranked as high as fifth in the nation for the first time since 2008. Shirk also led the Shoremen to their first Charles B. Clark Cup victory as they defeated rival Salisbury for the first time since 2002.
Shirk was again named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year in 2014 as the Shoremen went 18-2 (tying the team's single-season win mark and posting its second-highest ever winning percentage), went a perfect 8-0 in Centennial Conference regular season play, won the Centennial Conference Championship for the first time since 2003, and reached the NCAA Division III Semifinals for the first time since 2004. Following the season, he was named the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Coach of the Year by CaptainU.
Shirk also serves as the coordinator of the athletic department's career development program for student-athletes.
Shirk came to Chestertown from Division I Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he served as head coach for four years. In just his second season at VMI, Shirk guided the Keydets to their first-ever appearance in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament, their first-ever win in a conference tournament game, and their first-ever appearance in a conference championship game. In 2010, Shirk coached the first player in VMI history to earn All-America recognition as Tim Moran was lauded as an All-America honorable mention.
In addition to his four years at VMI, Shirk boasts an impressive lacrosse coaching and playing background. Shirk played four years as a short-stick defensive midfielder at the University of Maryland, where he served as team captain as a senior. He played for the Terrapins’ 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship Team and played in the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Division I National Championship Games. Shirk played professional lacrosse in the National Lacrosse League for three seasons before focusing exclusively on coaching.
Shirk’s coaching experience began while still an undergraduate, serving as an undergraduate assistant coach during the 2000-01 academic year. Following his graduation that spring, Shirk landed his first full-time coaching position as the head coach at Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Rhode Island. Shirk guided NAPS to an impressive 22-11 record over three seasons and helped develop five future Navy All-Americans. While there , he also served as the Associate Director of Athletics and held the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Navy.
Shirk returned to his alma mater for the 2004-05 academic year, serving as the Terps’ second assistant coach as Maryland won the ACC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division I National Semifinals. The following year, Shirk moved on to Brown University and served as the Bears’ defensive coordinator for one season before landing the head coaching position at VMI.
A native of Mountain Lakes, NJ, Shirk and his wife Elizabeth have two daughters – Emily and Anna, and a son - Garrett. Shirk earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Maryland in May 2001.