Coffeyville's Herkelman Reaches Milestone Win No. 500
January 12, 2014
Jay Herkelman reached another milestone in his storied coaching career on Friday night in front of the home crowd in Nellis Hall. Herkelman got his 500th career win as the Coffeyville Red Ravens rolled past the Highland Scotties 89-67.
Herkelman reached the milestone 500th win in his 19th year of coaching. Each and every one of those victories have been at Coffeyville Community College since his debut in the 1995-1996 season.
Herkelman took over a program that had fallen on hard times. The season prior to Herkelman's arrival in Coffeyville, the Ravens suffered through a 3-26 season. Two of those three wins came courtesy of forfeits, so on the court, the Ravens were really 1-28.
Herkelman recruited a new team his first season and the Ravens would go on to win the Jayhawk East Conference title in 1996, finishing with a 26-7 overall record.
Even with that successful start, Herkelman never envisioned seeing career win number 500 at some point in his future. “You don’t think about stuff like that,” said Herkelman. “When you start out in coaching, you are just trying to win the first. You just keep moving along and eventually you start reaching some major milestones.”
Since 1995, his Ravens have won 12 Jayhawk East titles, six Region VI championships, and played in the NJCAA National Tournament seven times including a national runner-up finish in 2002 and a third place finish in 2007. Herkelman has been named KCCC East Coach of the Year 11 times, and Region VI Coach of the Year and Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Coach-of-the-Year five times each.
Herkelman is already the all-time leader in coaching wins in the Jayhawk Conference. Among region coaches, he trails only Brown Mackie’s Francis Flax who entered this season with 584 career wins at Region VI institutions.
Opportunities to coach elsewhere have been offered, but Herkelman has accepted none of those. “It’s a very good job at Coffeyville and one of the better junior college jobs in the country,” said Herkelman. “I’ve always believed the grass isn’t greener on the other side.”
“My family was a big factor in staying here,” continued Herkelman. “I didn’t want my three daughters to have to make a move. I decided early on that I didn’t want to be a coach that moved around a lot.”
And that loyalty has allowed Herkelman to accomplish something rarely seen in the college ranks. “Few coaches get to 500 and to be able to do it at the place where I started, it’s a neat thing,” stated Herkelman.
Photo: Coffeyville Head Coach Jay Herkelman was honored for reaching career win number 500 on Friday night prior to Saturday's game. Herkelman reached 500 wins midway through his 19th season at CCC. Pictured are Coffeyville Athletic Director Jeff Leiker, KJCCC Commissioner Bryce Roderick, Herkelman, and CCC Board of Trustees Chairman Becky Medley.