Johnson County Community College
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JCCC announces 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame class
JCCC announces 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame class
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College Athletic Department will welcome four new members to its Hall of Fame, Wednesday, April 17. The new members to the Hall of Fame include Amy Gochnour (CC/Track), Bret Gustafson (contributor/photographer), Kent Shelley (baseball) and Randy Towner (golf).
The induction ceremony will take place prior to the dedication of the new baseball field and the Cavaliers game against Rockhurst University. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Amy Gochnour was a tremendously talented runner during her time at JCCC. She was the track MVP in 2002, and cross country MVP in 2002 and 2003. She was an 11-time NJCAA Coaches All-American, eight-time NJCAA All-American and was the 2003 National Half Marathon National Champion. Gochnour set seven school records, and etched her name among on JCCC’s top five performance lists 13 times. She was also a conference champion in cross country in 2002; indoor conference champion in the mile in 2002, and in the 5,000-meters in 2003; and outdoor conference champion in the 5,000-meters in 2002.
Gochnour continued her career at Southern Utah University where she helped her team win the 2004 Mid-Con Conference title with her win in the 5,000-meters. She also etched her name among the top 10 performers in the 3,000-meters and 5,000-meters indoors, and 10,000-meter run outdoors.
Bret Gustafson served 31 years on staff at Johnson County as the college’s photographer, before retiring in May of 2012. Over his 31-year career, Gustafson had a major impact on the JCCC Athletics Program with his sports photography. His athletic photographs have been showcased in 197 award winning publications, and his work has been featured on 24 covers judged “Best in the Nation” in College Sports Information Directors of America publication contests.
Over his career, Gustafson was also cited numerous times for excellence in his field. He received many Medallion Awards from The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR), and in 1999, he received the prestigious Paragon Award that recognizes outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges. The University Photographer’s of America has also recognized Gustafson’s work in several monthly contests.
On campus, Gustafson was selected as the 2001 AMS Spotlight Award Winner, and three years later was named the Foundation’s Colleague of the Year.
In 1987, Kent Shelley accepted the challenge to build on Johnson County’s rich baseball tradition established by legendary Hall of Fame coach Sonny Maynard. Shelley has not disappointed the Cavalier faithful, directing the JCCC baseball program to the forefront of junior college baseball in not only the East Jayhawk Conference and Region VI, but nationwide.
Now in his 26th season at the helm, Shelley is the winningest coach in JCCC history, and one of the all-time leaders in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference. He has amassed an impressive 759-476-1 mark (.614) entering the 2013 season, leading four teams to Eastern Sub-Regional championships and three squads to NJCAA Region VI titles. 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, and 700 came during the 2011 season.
In his 25 seasons as a college head coach, he has produced 15 teams that have surpassed at least 30 wins, and his teams have racked up at least 20 wins in 24 of his 25 years at the helm. From 2008 through 2010, Shelley racked up over 40 wins each year, winning 41 in 2008, 43 in 2009 and a personal-best 44 in 2010. He led JCCC to 40 wins in 2012. Shelley has guided teams to three Eastern Sub-Region titles and four region titles. In 2008 he led his team to the program’s first JUCO World Series appearance. In 2010, his squad captured the KJCCC Eastern Division Conference championships, the first since 1984, and his Cavaliers earned a second conference title in 2012.
Shelley’s players have also seen unbelievable success. He has coached eight NJCAA All-Americans, two preseason NJCAA All-Americans, one NJCAA World Series All-Tournament selection, five USA Junior College All-Stars, 20 All-Region VI performers, 106 All-East Jayhawk Conference recipients and 27 NJCAA Academic All-Americans, including a record seven in 2010. In 2008, Doug Otto was a unanimous selection as the 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 has had two players receive a Rawlings Big Stick Award for posting the top batting average in JCCC’s NJCAA District.
Shelley is also highly respected in nationally. He coached team in international competitions, served on various committees, both regionally and nationally, and served all the offices of the American Baseball Coaches Association, including President in 2007.
That same year, Shelley was inducted into the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, joining 77 other community college coaching greats. He is just the second coach from Region VI and the Kansas Jayhawk Conference to earn this prestigious honor. In January 2013, Shelley earned college baseball’s highest coaching honor when he was inducted to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame.
Randy Towner was a member of the inaugural golf team at Johnson County Community College in 1971-72, and was the team’s top performer in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Voted team captain and selected MVP both years, Towner set a standard of excellence that future generations of Cavalier golfers would try emulate.
In that inaugural season in 1971-72, Towner would help lead the Cavaliers to a NJCAA National Tournament appearance. He again led the team to another appearance his sophomore year. It would be 24 years before another team reached nationals in consecutive seasons.
At the 1973 Championship, Towner finished 30th overall with a 72-hole total of 299. He opened with a 71, closed with a 72 and posted scores of 77 and 79 in the second and third rounds. His 299 total was a school record until 2004, a span of 31 years. His round of 71 remained a record for 32 years.
After JCCC, Towner began his career path to become a PGA teaching professional. He attended the PGA of America school and completed his apprenticeship in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. In 1976, he became a certified PGA teaching professional, working at St. Andrews Golf Course in Overland Park.
Currently, Towner is a PGA Class A Head Golf Professional and General Manager at Firekeeper Golf Course at the Prairie Band Casino in Mayetta, Kan. He took over that position in November 2009, after serving 22 years as head golf professional at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence, Kan.
During his long career as a PGA professional, Towner has received many prestigious honors. He was named the Midwest Section PGA Player of the Year in 1983; the Spalding National Teacher of the Year in 1995; the Midwest Section PGA Senior Player of the Year in 2007; and the Midwest PGA Professional of the Year in 2010.
Towner also became the first person to play professionally in JCCC history. In June 2007, he qualified for the U.S. Senior Open Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., by winning a local qualifying tournament at Oakwood Country Club. The U.S. Senior Open was held July 5-8, 2007.