The game of golf this year has been good to Barry Shanley.
In February, the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association presented the veteran coach with its statewide Coach of the Year award, while this fall, the South Haven girls golf team, which Shanley coaches, made it all the way to the Division 4 state championship for the first time in school history.
Now Shanley can add another feather to his cap.
This past week, the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association selected him, along with six other high school coaches, as Division 4 Regional Coach of the Year.
It marks the fourth time Shanley has been honored as Regional Coach of the Year.
Shanley said he couldn’t have earned the award without the help of others who helped shape South Haven’s girls golf program over the past several years.
“Thanks to the association, my players, parents and administration,” Shanley said. “I share this with swing coach Steve Tolen, JV coach Pat Fitton, and swing coach Cindy Hill.
Shanley has coached high school golfers in Southwest Michigan for more than three decades.
He first began in Lawton in 1996. “We started the golf program at the request of my oldest son, who was a junior, and his best friend, who was a sophomore,” Shanley recalled in a previous interview after winning the statewide Coach of the Year award. “We started with 7 players. The second season we had 17 and by the third season we had 43.”
Shanley spent 13 years coaching Lawton’s team, but halfway through simultaneously began coaching the girls team at Kalamazoo Hackett during the fall. He helped lead the Irish to four trips to the state finals. He then came to South Haven in 2011 to coach the girls in the fall, but two years ago resumed instructing the Lawton boys’ team during the spring, while also organizing a summer junior golf tour that attracts high school golfers from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.