Adrian College esports program to start in fall

Jon Shirley selected as AC esports head coach

Adrian College (AC) has just added a coed esports program that begins this fall.

Esports, a form of sport competition that uses multiplayer video games, continues to see a growing number of colleges sponsor programs. Adrian will become the third member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) to sponsor an esports program.

The Bulldogs will be in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) division. Adrian College is applying to become a member of the Great Lakes Esports Conference (GLEC).

The new esports program will work in conjunction with the college’s new Esports Management minor, which was announced in April.

Adrian College’s new esports room, located in the Shipman Library, will feature 37 state of the art gaming stations and include a player lounge and a viewing area for spectators.

“I am excited for Adrian College to venture into the esport arena bringing another great opportunity to campus for our students,” said AC Athletic Director Michael Duffy. “We have already begun work on a brand new esports room and will be partnering with Byte Speed for our state of the art gaming equipment.”

Adrian College selected Jon Shirley, a nine-year veteran of the school’s IT department, to serve as the program’s first head coach.

“I am truly excited for this new opportunity,” Shirley said. “I have been a huge proponent of esports at Adrian College and this represents the realization of that dream. I think there is a great future ahead for Bulldog esports and I look forward to starting that process.”

Shirley took part in some of the first esports competitions during the early 2000s and was a nationally ranked player on one of the nation’s best teams. He also brings a lifetime of other playing experience to his new role.

“Jon [Shirley] brings the perfect blend of gaming experience and familiarity that we were looking for in the starting of our program,” Duffy said. “His past competitive gaming experience is a huge benefit and his contribution to the start of this program has been crucial.

For the past 20 years, Shirley has been an IT system professional. He has served as system administrator at Adrian College for the past nine years and held the same position at Cosma Sales and Engineering prior to that.

“We are building something great with this new esports program,” Duffy said. “It is a great time to be a Bulldog!”

For more information on Adrian College’s esports program, contact coach Shirley at jshirley@adrian.edu.