Rose Shires enters her 27th season as head coach of the Omaha volleyball program in 2016, and the veteran leader has amassed a 475-343 career coaching record that makes her the winningest coach in school history for total career victories. She took the reins of the volleyball program in 1990 after two seasons as UNO’s assistant coach.
Shires has enjoyed tremendous success over her first 25 years as Omaha’s head coach. The Mavericks’ 1997 Elite Eight appearance followed a 1996 campaign which saw her lead UNO to its first-ever national championship, as well as its first North Central Conference championship since 1987.
For her efforts, Shires was named the 1996 AVCA National Coach of the Year, North Central Region Coach of the Year, and NCC Co-Coach of the Year. In addition, she was honored as the 1996 Omaha Sportscaster’s Association’s Sportswoman of the Year and the Omaha World-Herald State College Coach of the Year. Shires also earned the Lite 96 Leadership Award and was selected as one of the “Fabulous 50 Women of Nebraska” by the Daughters of Sarah Women’s Auxiliary.
During the 1996 championship run, the Mavericks finished their season at 35-2. The record marked the best winning percentage (.946) and fewest losses in school history.
Over the past two-plus decades as Omaha’s mentor, Shires has coached nine players to 27 All-America awards, including five from the AVCA First Teams. Thirty-eight of her players have combined for 64 all-conference honors in NCC, MIAA and Summit League play, and 18 have gone on to claim 34 all-region honors.
Shires’ student-athletes have also had tremendous success in the classroom. The Mavericks have earned 19 AVCA team academic awards for having a team grade-point average of 3.30 or better, including the last 16 consecutive seasons. She has coached two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, and in 2008, her entire squad was placed on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll for having individual GPAs of at least 3.0, along with a combined mark of 3.67.
In 2009, Shires guided the UNO to its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, marking the 11th time it advanced to NCAA postseason play. The 2009 Mavs compiled a record of 20-14 (10-10 MIAA), and four student-athletes – Ellen Thommes, Angie Reicks, Lizzy Mach and Emily Myers – garnered all-league plaudits.
The 2010 season saw the Mavericks finished 17-15 on the year and had two players – Kayla Uhing and Natalie Ebke – earn all-conference recognition from the MIAA in their final year in the league. Shires led UNO into its first year of Division I play in 2011, which was highlighted by the squad’s first win over a fellow Division I opponent with a 3-2 road victory over Summit League foe UMKC.
In 2013, Megan Schmale became Omaha's first All-Summit honoree, earning honorable mention recognition in addition to Academic All-Summit accolades. Schmale repeated her Academic All-Summit plaudits in 2014, and two newcomers -- Sydney O'Shaughnessy and Mackenzie Horkey -- were named to the Summit League All-Freshmen Team.
The Mavericks had their finest Division I season yet in 2015, finishing as runner-up at the Summit League Tournament in their first postseason run of the Division I era. Omaha finished 19-13 for the year, and Schmale, O'Shaughnessy and Kimberly Bailey collected All-Summit recognition. Bailey was also named Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, Gessica Gdowski was placed on the Summit League All-Freshmen Team, and Shires herself capped the hardware haul as Summit League Coach of the Year. Additionally, Schmale picked up her third straight Academic All-Summit award, and Bailey joined her on the academic squad.
Within the national coaching community, Shires plays an instrumental role in the promotion of volleyball. She has served on the AVCA Head Coaches Committee and the AVCA Board of Directors as a Division II representative. She was also a member of the NCAA Division II regional ranking committee and the AVCA All-America selection committee.
In 1989, Shires earned her CAP Level I coaches accreditation and Youth Volleyball certification, and in 1995, she earned her CAP Level II coaches accreditation. Since 1989, she has helped coordinate the United States Volleyball Association’s (USVBA) Great Plains Zonal and Regional tournaments at the Sapp Fieldhouse. In 1990, 1994 and 1995, Shires participated as a volunteer coach at the U.S. Olympic Festival tryouts.
Shires has served as a consultant for USA Volleyball’s Omaha Volleyball Club for four years and has also coached an 18-under boys team for the organization. She has also volunteered for the USA Special Olympics volleyball squad, and she and her teams have conducted clinics for the Special Olympics coaches and players.
Shires has been a featured guest speaker at several area high schools, covering the subject of women in non-traditional roles, and was a featured presenter at the 1995 and 1997 Nebraska High School Coaches Convention, as well as the 1997 AVCA National Convention.
Along with her coaching responsibilities at UNO, Shires previously served as the Interim Senior Woman Administrator. She had a previous stint as SWA and Associate Athletic Director from 2006 to 2008, while also coordinating the UNO Diet Pepsi Women’s Walk, which was the primary fundraiser for Maverick women’s athletics. Shires was also an instructor in the UNO School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Shires was a five-year member of the UTEP volleyball team and served as team captain for three years while being named team MVP twice. She graduated from UTEP in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in education and earned her master’s degree in exercise science from UNO in 1989.