Shannon Higgins-Cirovski, was the eighth former GW coach to gain admission into the University's Athletic Hall of Fame. She coached Colonials women's soccer from 1991 through '97 and significantly elevated the program's competitive quality during those years. Though lacking a true GW 'home field' during the '90s and while playing against an upgraded schedule, her teams were 69-59-11 overall in seven years and an excellent 27-4-3 in five seasons ('93-97) of Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Higgins-Cirovski earned A-10 Coach of the Year in both 1994 and '96. Her 1996 team, rated 18th during the season by Soccer Times, made the University's first women's soccer appearance in an NCAA Tournament while her '94 team also managed to achieve a No. 15 national ranking by Soccer America. Three of her mid-'90s players won A-10 awards (Tanya Vogel, current Colonials coach and the first women's soccer electee to the GW AHOF, was A-10 Player of the Year in '96; Chemar Smith and Jane Andersen were back-to-back A-10 Rookie of the Year winners in '94 and '95.)
A world-class midfielder in her own right at North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Higgins-Cirovski is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, the third women's player to achieve that distinction. She starred on Lady Tar Heels teams which won four consecutive NCAA titles ('86-90) and rolled up a 89-0-6 mark during those years. She won numerous individual awards during her playing career, topped in both '88 and '89 when she was chosen "National Player of the Year" by Soccer America magazine.
After one season as a GW assistant coach (in 1990 under coach Adrian Glover), Higgins-Cirovski became one of the youngest Division I head coaches in the nation in 1991 at the age of 22. Seven years later and following her successes with the Colonials, Higgins-Cirovski left to become head coach of the United States National U-18 Program in 1998-99. She later coached at the University of Maryland where she was voted the ACC Coach of the Year twice ('99 and 2002).
Higgins-Cirovski gained her bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations at UNC in 1990. An 1986 graduate of Mt. Rainier High School in Kent, Wash., she resides in Columbia, Md., with her husband, Sasho Cirovski, head coach of the Terps' men's soccer team, and their three daughters, Hailey, Karli. and Ellie.