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Top 10 Stories of 2016-17 - #5 Moravian Promotes Mary Beth Spirk to Director of Athletics & Recreation

Mary Beth Spirk speaks during the annual Senior Athlete Award Banquet in 2015
Mary Beth Spirk speaks during the annual Senior Athlete Award Banquet in 2015

BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is continuing its look back at the 2016-17 year with the second of two Top 10 lists, the Top 10 Stories of the Year. No. 5 on the list is Moravian promoting Head Women's Basketball Coach/Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women's Administrator Mary Beth Spirk to the position of Director of Athletics & Recreation.

Spirk, who recently finished her 30th season leading the Greyhounds, began her position as Director of Athletics & Recreation on June 5, and she is also maintaining her position as head coach but has relinquished the role of senior women's administrator.

"It has been a whirlwind of activity over the past few weeks as the coaches and staff get ready for a new year," stated Spirk. "Thankfully the entire department has been helping in the transition and so far things are going well. Fall athletes arrive on campus this week, so it will get more hectic soon. I look forward to a successful year for our student-athletes, coaches and staff."

Spirk arrived at Moravian in 1981 as an assistant for the women's basketball and softball teams and served in those roles for six seasons before taking over the women's basketball program in 1987. She has coached the Greyhounds to a 562-266 record over the last 30 years with a total of 19 20-win seasons, 27 postseason appearances, nine NCAA Division III Tournament berths and eight ECAC Division III Tournament appearances. Spirk also spent six seasons as Moravian's Head Softball Coach from 1988 through 1993 with an overall record of 104-57.

Earlier this spring, Spirk was honored as the Landmark Conference Women's Basketball Coach of the Year, her tenth conference Coach of the Year honor, and she was also named the ECAC Division III Metro Coach of the Year for the first time. During her career, Spirk has coached 23 1,000-point scorers, 14 All-Americans, countless All-Conference players and a National Player of the Year in Kathy Beck in 1992, the season that Moravian hosted and played in the National Championship game in Johnston Hall. She was also the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year in 1992.

Spirk is an ambassador for women's athletics speaking at local schools as well as attending national conferences on gender equity and Title IX. She also volunteers her time at both local and national clinics to help foster the game and give back to youths. Spirk is serving as part of the 2017-18 WBCA Board of Directors, one of only three Division III coaches on the Board, for an eighth straight year.

Spirk has also been a major advocate in Moravian's participation in the Kay Yow Cancer Fund's Play 4Kay fundraiser. The Greyhounds have been the top NCAA Division III school in fundraising dollars in each of the nine years, having brought in $115,153 including a program-best $21,662 in 2017.

A 1981 graduate of Dickinson College, Spirk is an associate professor of physical education and has been assistant athletics director since 2001, moving to associate athletics director and senior women's administrator in 2011. She completed her Master's in Sports Administration at the United States Sports Academy in Alabama in 2002.

The number four story in the Top 10 Stories of 2016-17 will be released on Wednesday, August 9.