University of Richmond fires women’s basketball coach Michael Shafer


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) —  University of Richmond announced Sunday that longtime women’s head basketball coach Michael Shafer will not be returning to the team next season.  

Shafer is the second-longest tenured coach in Richmond women’s basketball history with a record of 223-214 record in his 14 seasons at the helm.

His 223 wins ranks first all-time in program history for wins.

During his tenure, the Spiders advanced to six Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). The team made the tournament last in 2015.

“We would like to thank Michael Shafer for his hard work and dedication to our university and the Spider women’s basketball program during the past 14 years,” University of Richmond vice president and director of athletics John Hardt said. “We appreciate everything he and his family had done for our program, and we wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”

Shafer led the Spiders to three 20-plus win seasons in his career, including a career-best 24-10 record in the 2008-09 season. 

Over the last four years, the Spiders have posted four-straight years with a record under .500.

This year, the team finished  9-21 on the season, the lowest win total for the Spiders since the 1985-86 season. 

“It has been an honor to lead the Richmond women’s basketball program the past 14 years,” Shafer said. “I am grateful for my time at the University of Richmond and the countless student-athletes, staff and fans I have worked with and interacted with during my time. Richmond is a special place and it has been a great honor to lead our women’s basketball student-athletes, on and off the court.”

The university announced a national search for Shafer’s successor is underway. 

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