Director of Athletics
Introduced as Johnson County Community College’s fifth Director of Athletics in August 2000, Carl Heinrich has undeniably made a positive impact as he enters his 16th season as leader of JCCC’s 15-sport intercollegiate athletics program. Under his leadership, the department has achieved unprecedented academic, athletics and administrative success.
Since taking over the program, Johnson County has enjoyed its most competitively successful period in the history of its intercollegiate athletics program. Under Heinrich’s watch at JCCC, the Cavaliers have claimed nine of the school’s 11 NJCAA National Championships, 71 Region VI titles, 73 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference titles and at total of 177 teams have earned NJCAA National Tournament berths, with 57 finishing among the top five nationally. During his reign, the men’s and women’s teams have combined for a winning percentage of .692, and they have combined for a winning percentage over .700 six times.
Also during that time, Johnson County has achieved a top 10 finish in 10 of the 12 years the NATYCAA Cup has been awarded, including three third place finishes, two runners-up and a national cup championship in 2007-08, making Johnson County the only KJCCC program to earn that distinction.
Along with the unprecedented on-the-field successes, JCCC also reached new heights in the classroom. During his 15 years as Director of Athletics, Johnson County student-athletes have earned 213 of the program’s 298 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards, over 71 percent of the honors awarded. In 2014-15, JCCC athletes produced 22 national academic honors, the most in the program’s history. In the fall 2014, 67 percent of the students associated with the athletic department maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or better (140-2010), and 37 students-athletes recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point. Those were both record totals for the JCCC athletic department.
This past year continued a string of success for Heinrich and the Cavaliers. JCCC athletic teams sported a combined .563 winning percentage with nine teams above .500 and four at .700 or better. The women’s basketball team posted a .944 winning percentage with a 34-2 record on their way to winning a national championship, and the baseball team registered it second highest season win total with 49 victories.
The Cavaliers won two Kansas Jayhawk Conference championships, two Region VI titles, competed in postseason in eight of JCCC’s 15 sports, and three teams finished in the top 10 in NJCAA Championship events, including a national title by the women’s basketball team and a third place finish by the softball team.
JCCC sports teams also were ranked in61 of 108 polls released by the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2014-15, and 34 times JCCC teams appeared in the top 10, including eight times at No. 1. The women’s basketball team had the most top 10 poll appearances with 13, followed by baseball with 10, volleyball with eight and softball with three.
Heinrich has overseen dramatic construction, renovation and expansion of JCCC’s athletic facilities, including the completion and opening of the 43,000-square foot Fieldhouse, Barbara Gill Lifetime Fitness Center, new offices for coaching staff, a conference room and weight rooms. Most recently, Heinrich oversaw renovations to the locker room facilities, indoor track and redesign of the JCCC baseball complex, including a state-of-the art AstroTurf grass playing surface, dugouts, backstop and fencing and installation of lighting. This renovation gives JCCC baseball one of the top playing surfaces in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference and provide the team opportunities to practice and compete in all type weather conditions, as well as host top-notch amateur baseball championships during the year.
In addition to spearheading the Cavaliers success on the field, Heinrich has also helped elevate the exposure of the program on a national level. In 2004, Heinrich secured the bid for JCCC to host the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship. As director, Heinrich oversaw one of the more successful tournaments in the history of that championship. Heinrich also helped JCCC secure the bid to host the NJCAA Half Marathon Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The 2008 Half Marathon Championship featured the largest field in the championship’s history. In the spring of 2012, Heinrich secured a three-year bid for JCCC to host the D-II Women’s Basketball Championship, beginning in 2014. The 2015 championship marked the 40th anniversary of the women’s national tournament, which was founded by JCCC’s first Director of Athletics, Orville Gregory, and fittingly, the Lady Cavaliers captured the national title.
Heinrich also holds a professional membership in the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and served on the executive committee representing two-year colleges. Heinrich also served three years as treasurer for the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators, one year as second vice president, and served as President of NATYCAA for the 2009-10 academic year. He now is a lifetime member of NATYCAA’s Executive Committee. Heinrich also served three years as the assistant Region VI director for women’s athletics, and this fall he will begin his sixth year as director of Region VI women’s athletics. He also serves on the KJCCC Executive Committee and as secretary/treasurer for the conference. Heinrich was also been elected to serve on the NJCAA Executive Committee in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and currently serves on the Division II women’s basketball, softball and districting committees for the NJCAA. He also is NJCAA Chair for D-II volleyball and women’s golf. Heinrich also serves on the NJCAA Eligibility Committee, Women’s D-II Basketball Committee and D-II District Committee and is Chair of D-II volleyball and women’s golf,
Heinrich’s leadership and service to community college athletics has earned him praise and accolades during his 15-year tenure. He was named the NATYCAA/AstroTurf Athletic Director of the Year for 2007-08, and in April 2011 at the NJCAA annual meetings, Heinrich was awarded the George E. Killian Award of Excellence. This is award is given to individuals dedicated to the ideals of volunteerism, achievement, service, leadership and excellence. In June 2013, Heinrich was selected the 2013 winner of the L. William Miller Award by the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA). He was given the award at the NATYCAA Convention in Orlando. The L. William Miller award is NATYCAA’s highest award, and is given annually to recognize athletics administration excellence on the two-year level. Heinrich was the 21st recipient of this award. Heinrich currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau and is the secretary/treasurer.
Before his appointment as athletic director, Heinrich served two years as academic director of physical education and athletics at JCCC. Heinrich monitored the eligibility of JCCC’s student-athletes and coordinated the curriculum of the HPER department. Heinrich also served two years as program manager of athletics in which he monitored all facility operations for the athletic department and scheduled all events.
Heinrich also served six seasons as the Cavaliers’ assistant baseball coach under Kent Shelley. During their time together, the program posted a 179-103 mark (.635), won two Eastern Sub-Region Championships and a Region VI title. The Cavaliers also had six players signed or drafted by Major League Baseball teams.
In January of 1999, he was appointed the interim baseball coach for the season. Heinrich led the Cavaliers to a 28-19 mark and a berth in the Eastern Sub-region Tournament. His 28 wins are the best by a first-year coach in the history of the program. That season, Heinrich had eight players earn all-conference recognition. Heinrich spent two years as the program coordinator for student activities and two years as a career counselor. During that span, Heinrich oversaw the growth of the Brown and Gold membership nearly double, from 2,500 to 4,500 members.
Heinrich arrived at JCCC in 1991 after serving as head baseball coach at Highland Community College. A 1978 graduate of the University of Kansas, Heinrich was a former co-captain for the Jayhawks baseball team and served as a graduate assistant.
Heinrich was a four-year standout at first base for the Jayhawks, and ended his KU career with a lifetime .288 average, and a reputation as one of the best glove men in the Big 8. He also set school career records for at-bats (648), hits (135) and doubles (19). He also was one of a handful of Jayhawks to pick up four hits in one game.
Before becoming head coach at Highland, he played professionally for the Class A McAllen Dusters of the Lone Star Texas League. Heinrich earned his master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University in 1985.
Heinrich and his wife, Debbie, have three sons: Kyle, Cal and C.J, and four grandsons, Carter, Cash, Hank and Tufff, and two granddaughters, Harper and Kamryn.