Kent Shelley

Head Coach
University of Kansas '82
971-464-1 (.632)
31st season at JCCC

Kent Shelley enters his 31st season at the helm of the highly successful Johnson County Community College baseball program. The winningest coach in JCCC history, and one of the all-time leaders in the KJCCC, Shelley has amassed an impressive 971-565-1 mark (.632), leading four teams to Eastern Sub-Regional championships and four squads to NJCAA Region VI titles. His 971 wins rank sixth all-time in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference.

In 2005, Shelley won his 500th game as JCCC’s head coach, and became JCCC’s all-time wins leader, surpassing JCCC Hall of Famer Sonny Maynard. Win number 599 might just be his most rewarding. That victory gave JCCC its first berth to the NJCAA JUCO World Series. He got win number 600 in his first game of the 2009 campaign, 700 came during the 2011 season, 800 came during the 2014 campaign, which is Shelley’s best to date, and in 2016 he surpassed the 900-win plateau. He has 1,000 wins in site entering the 2017 campaign.

In 30 seasons as the Cavalier skipper, Shelley has produced eight teams that have surpassed 40 wins, 18 teams that have surpassed at least 30 wins and his teams have topped 20 or more in 29 of his 30 campaigns.

In 2008, Shelley led his team to the program’s first NJCAA World Series appearance. In 2010, his squad captured the Kansas Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division championship, the first since 1984, and his Cavaliers earned two more conference titles in 2012 and 2014. His 2014 squad won a record 50 games, captured the Region VI Championship and qualified for the NJCAA World Series for a second time in his career and the program’s history.

Shelley’s players have also seen unbelievable success. He has coached nine NJCAA All-Americans, two preseason All-Americans, one World Series All-Tournament selection, six USA Junior College All-Stars, 28 All-Region Vi performers, 157 All-East Jayhawk Conference selections, including a record 14 in 2017. In 2008, Doug Otto was a unanimous selection as conference MVP, the first in the program’s history. He also became the first player to be awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove award. Shelley also had two players receive a Rawlings Big Stick Award for posting the top batting average in JCCC’s NJCAA District. Last season, right-handed pitcher Brandon Stanek was selected the East Division Pitcher of the Year, a first in team history.

To date, 42 of his former players have been drafted or signed as free agents by the Major League Baseball since he took over the reigns in 1987. Pitcher Travis Buckley became the first player put on the 40-man roster of the 1993 expansion Colorado Rockies. In August of 2002, power hitter Kit Pellow became the first former Johnson County player to make it to the Major Leagues level, playing for the Kansas City Royals. Two years later, Pellow was in opening day starter in left field for the Colorado Rockies. In 2011, pitcher Jeff Soptic was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the third round of the MLB Draft, making him the highest drafted player in JCCC history.

While developing professional talent is impressive, Shelley also has a significant number of players who continued their playing careers at four-year universities and colleges. A total of 294 student-athletes under his direction have transferred to play at four-year institutions, with 224 at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels, including Arkansas, Creighton, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Missouri State, Nebraska, New Mexico State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt to name a few

Off the field, Shelley’s players have been honored by the NJCAA for academic excellence 45 times, including a record seven in 2010 and 2016. Last year six players were honored, including two with a 4.0 grade point average.

Shelley is also highly regarded by his coaching peers and his success at JCCC has earned him national recognition. In May 2007, Shelley was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, joining 77 other community college coaching greats. He was just the second coach from Region VI and the Kansas Jayhawk Conference to earn this prestigious honor. In Jan., 2013, Shelley earned college baseball highest coaching honor when he was inducted to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame. That same year, he also joined the JCCC Athletics Hall of Fame.

Over his career, Shelley has been asked to serve as a coach or administrator for several national teams and organizations. In 1994 he served as head coach for Team USA, a select NJCAA team that played host to a select team from Japan. In 1990, he served as an assistant coach on the first NJCAA team to participate in international competition. The USA All-Stars competed in the Friendship Games in Las Tunas, Cuba. He also has been selected as head coach of the Kansas Region VI Eastern Division All-Stars three times. Shelley also has the distinction of earning the first Louisville Slugger/Region VI coach of the year honor, after his team captured the Region VI title in 1993. In 2014, Shelley was named the East Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year for the first time of his career.

But Shelley’s influence on junior college baseball is much greater than the many successes his teams have enjoyed on the field. Shelley has been active on both the national and international levels of junior college baseball. In January 1997, at the American Baseball Coaches Association annual meeting, he was selected as president of the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association. As president, Shelley represented the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association on the ABCA Executive Committee. Before that appointment, Shelley had just concluded a three-year stint as vice president of the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association. In addition, he served on the International Baseball Committee for that organization. He has also represented the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association on the NCAA Division I baseball rules committee.

In 2002 Shelley was selected to serve on the Executive Committee of the American Baseball Coaches Association, becoming just the second coach from the community college ranks to earn such an honor. He has continued to move up the ranks, and recently completed the role of president of the ABCA, becoming just the second junior college coach to serve as president. He will continue to serve on the ABCA Board of Directors for life. The ABCA is the largest coaching organization with nearly 13,000 members around the world.

A solid background in baseball has helped set the stage for Shelley’s success at Johnson County Community College. He was a collegiate standout catcher at Pratt Community College and the University of Kansas. At Pratt, he was co-captain and most valuable player in 1980. At the University of Kansas, Shelley was elected co-captain in 1982. Following his senior year, he served as graduate assistant for the Jayhawks. Before taking the helm at JCCC, Shelley served one season at JCCC as assistant coach under Cavalier Hall of Famer Sonny Maynard.

In addition to his coaching duties at JCCC, Shelley also serves as an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals.

Shelley earned his bachelor’s degree in personnel administration at KU and completed his master’s degree in student/personnel administration at Emporia State University.

Shelley and his wife, MargE, have two daughters: Mandi, 29, and Madison, 23.