KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Roos are back in track and field.

Effective July 1, Benaud Shirley will return to coach the Roos for his third season at the head and his 16th season overall.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City suspended the program in October 2020 due to budgetary challenges, but the cross-country program returned in 2021 as a first step toward bringing back track and field.

“This is a great day for Kansas City Track and Field,” Shirley said in a press release Thursday. “I am very happy and excited for our student-athletes, especially the ones that remained through the suspension. I am very proud of their patience and resilience through the process. Many thanks to Dr. Martin and his leadership team for their vision, unwavering support and commitment to Kansas City Athletics and its student-athletes.”

“I’m thoroughly convinced that under Coach Shirley’s leadership, our track and field program will transition from reinstatement to high performance in short order. I’m thrilled to bring back this competitive opportunity for our current and future track and field student-athletes,” Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Dr. Brandon Martin said.

When Shirley was an associate head coach from 2011-18, the Roos brought home five conference championships. During the 2019-20 indoor season, Kansas City athletes earned both male and female conference athlete of the year awards. According to the release, Shirley is currently working to fill the roster.

The Roos will compete in Summit League for the first time since 2012-13.