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 15th 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 eight of the school’s 10 NJCAA National Championships, 69 Region VI titles, 72 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference titles and at total of 169 teams have earned NJCAA National Tournament berths, with 55 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 all 10 of the NATYCAA Cup standings, 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 14 years as Director of Athletics, Johnson County student-athletes have earned 181 of the program’s 237 NJCAA Academic All-America accolades, over 75 percent of the honors awarded. JCCC led the country with 16 individual earning Academic All-America statuses, and in 2006-07 and in 2009-10 JCCC student-athletes earned a record 21 honors, which was second best in the country.
This past year continued a string of success for Heinrich and the Cavaliers. JCCC athletic teams sported a combined .547 winning, with 12 teams above .500 and seven at .700 or better. The women’s basketball team posted a .938 winning percentage with a 30-2 record, and the baseball team registered a school record 50 wins on it way to the JUCO World Series.
The Cavaliers won six Kansas Jayhawk Conference championships, five Region VI titles, competed in postseason in 17 of 18 of JCCC’s 18 sports, and five teams finished in the top 10 in NJCAA Championship events. JCCC sports teams also were ranked in 74 of 102 polls released by the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2013-14, and 42 times JCCC teams appeared in the top 10. The women’s basketball team had the most top 10 poll appearances with 12, followed by volleyball with nine.
In fall 2013, 58 percent of JCCC’s student-athletes (129 of 224) maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or better, and 22 recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point. For the entire 2013-14 academic year, nine individuals were honored by the NJCAA for academic excellence, and the JCCC athletics department compiled a grade point average of 2.80 with four teams finishing above a 3.0, highlighted by a National Academic Championship by the women’s tennis team with a 3.83 GPA.
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 will mark the 40th anniversary of the women’s national tournament, which was founded by JCCC’s first Director of Athletics, Orville Gregory.
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 14-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 two grandsons, Carter and Cash, and two granddaughters, Harper and Kamryn.