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Baseball – Shelley inducted to ABCA Hall of Fame

01/10/13

Baseball – Shelley inducted to ABCA Hall of Fame

Kent Shelley inducted to ABCA Hall of Fame

OVERLAND PARK, KS – Kent Shelley (second from left), the all-time wins leader at Johnson County Community College, was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 4, at the organization’s annual convention at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Ill. 

Shelley, also a 2007 NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame inductee, is the first coach from the state of Kansas, and only the 14th National Junior College coach to be inducted since the inception of the Hall of Fame in 1966. 

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to receive such a tremendous honor,” Shelley said. “Being selected for induction into the ABCA Hall of Fame is the ultimate reward for all the people who have worked so hard to make our program what it is today. I totally understand that this honor is not about me, but it is all about our players, alumni, assistant coaches, administration, parents, fans and my family. These are the ones who have made tremendous sacrifices to insure that our players receive the best education on and off the field.” 

Joining Shelley in the Class of 2013 were Bill Baker (Northern Kentucky), Dan Gallagher (Fordham), Woody Hunt (Cumberland), Ralph Rago (UC-Davis) and Joe Roberts (Armstrong State). 

Shelley will begin his 26th season as head coach of the Cavaliers in 2013, and his 27th with the Johnson County program. He has amassed an impressive 759-476-1 mark (614), had 31 players drafted or signed as free by Major League baseball and 233 of his former players have continued playing at four-year institutions. 

Included in his coaching achievements are one NJCAA World Series appearance (2008), three NJCAA Region VI championships (1990, 1993, 2008), four Eastern Sub-region titles (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993) and two East Jayhawk Conference titles (2010, 2012). He has produced 15 teams that have surpassed 30 wins, and four his last five squads have topped the 40-win plateau. 

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’s influence on junior college baseball is much greater than many of the successes his teams and players have enjoyed on the filed. He has been active on both the national and international levels of junior college baseball. He was selected to serve on the Executive Committee of the ABCA, and moved up the ranks eventually serving as president, becoming just the second junior coach to serve in that capacity. He also served as president and vice president of the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association, served on the International Baseball Committee for the NJCAA and served on the NJCAA baseball rules committee. 

Shelley also served as head coach for a select NJCAA team from the United State that played host to a team from Japan, and as assistant coach for the first selected NJCAA team to participate in international competition. 

Shelley 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.

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For schedules, rosters, and other team information, go to www.jccc.edu/cavs.