Fargo Shanley boys basketball coach Craig Irwin steps down after 1 season

Irwin led the Deacons to an overall mark of 15-12 and a Class A state tournament appearance for the first time since 2018

Former Fargo Shanley boys basketball head coach Craig Irwin conducts practice Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, at Shanley High School.
Michael Vosburg/Forum Communications Co.

FARGO — Fargo Shanley boys basketball head coach Craig Irwin has resigned from his position after one season at the helm.

The announcement was made Tuesday by St. John Paul II Catholic Schools activities director Reggie Jackson.

In a news release, Irwin cited a growth opportunity at his self-owned insurance agency — Irwin Insurance Services in Colfax — with an opportunity arising that "he can't pass up."

Irwin led the Deacons to an overall mark of 15-12 and helped Shanley to its first Class A state tournament appearance since 2018.

After starting the season 2-5, Irwin coached the Deacons to an eight-game win streak to get back above the .500 mark and into the No. 5 seed for the Eastern Dakota Conference tournament.


After narrowly losing to Fargo Davies in the EDC semifinals, the Deacons defeated Grand Forks Central 65-61 in the state play-in game to earn the East Region's final seed.

Shanley ultimately fell to Bismarck Century in the Class A quarterfinals 77-45.

"Shanley High School and all of JPII Schools thank Craig for the dynamic culture shift he started in our boys basketball program and enthusiastically wish him well," the news release said.

A search for Shanley's next head coach will begin immediately.

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
What To Read Next
Get Local