CONWAY, AR (UCA) - The University of Central Arkansas baseball staff has added two new coaches in Kirk Kelley and Mark Jelks.
Kelley joins the UCA staff as associate head coach and pitching coach, while Jelks will be director of baseball operations.
Kelley is the former longtime head coach at Lyon College in Batesville, and most recently was the athletic director and head baseball coach at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Okla. He has recorded 595 victories during his college coaching career, and his OWU team won the 2011 NCCAA national championship, with Kelley being named national coach of the year.
Kelley has coached 11 All-Americans and more than 50 All-Conference players during his career, including the 2011 Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and the 2011 MCAC Freshman of the Year.
" Kirk Kelley is an impact person in every way,' said UCA head coach Allen Gum. "He will make a difference in our program, university, community and most importantly, in our players. He has helped players throughout his coaching career to reach their goals on and off the field.'
Kelley, who has served as the president of the NAIA Baseball Coaches Association, has the baseball complex at Lyon College named in his honor.
"He is a man of strong character and family values,' Gum said. "I feel truly blessed to have him join the UCA baseball program.'
Jelks comes to UCA from a highly successful program at Bryant High School, where he worked under Coach UCA Kirk Bock, a former UCA Bear. Jelks helped the Hornets to three 7A Central conference championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In his final season, the Hornets were ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and finished as state runnerup.
Jelks, a native of El Dorado, played collegiately at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville under former UCA player Jimmy Clark.
"Mark is an outstanding baseball man,' said Gum. "He worked at Bryant under another UCA product, Kirk Bock. He is highly organized and loves the game of baseball. I'm thankful we have him here at UCA and I think he will do an outstanding job for us.'