On March 29th, the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Baseball team defeated the Berea College Mountaineers in a single game matchup by a score of 7-5. With the win, Head Coach Brad Shelton earned his 500th win during his illustrious coaching career at University of the Cumberlands. Hitting the 500 win mark will rank him second in wins in Cumberland Baseball history, and only puts him two wins behind all-time wins leader Coach Terry Stigall.
Shelton has an overall coaching record of 689 wins and 371 losses with a win percentage of .650. Shelton’s 500 wins at Cumberlands, entering the 2015-16 season, ranks him 10th all-time in Kentucky Collegiate Baseball Coaching wins (at 4 year institutions) and second among active coaches.
Including his wins as a head coach at the junior college level, he ranks sixth all time in wins for Collegiate Baseball Coaches in the state of Kentucky. Coach Shelton adopted the program back in 2001, inheriting a team that was 7-34 in the previous season. He would go on to direct the team to a 34-29 record in 2002. This was the biggest turnaround in college baseball (+27 victories) at any level in 2002.
Over the past 14 seasons, the Patriots have become a consistent winner, playing a competitive schedule including some of the top teams in the NAIA. The UC Baseball program has posted twelve 30 plus wins seasons and three 40 plus wins seasons during that time period. The program has 14 straight seasons of 26 or more victories.
Since coming to UC in 2001, Shelton has built one of the NAIA’s best baseball programs in the country. His teams during that span have made 5 regional tournaments, won 3 Mid-South Conference (MSC) Championships, and 1 MSC Tournament Championship.
Highlights during his career at UC include setting the record at UC for wins in a single season with 45 in 2004 and a #3 NAIA national ranking. He also led his 2005 team to a NAIA Regional Runner-up finish and had his 2008 team ranked #7 nationally with 43 wins.
“Congratulations to Brad Shelton on his 500th career win as the Head Baseball Coach of the University of the Cumberlands Patriots,” said UC Athletic Director and VP for Athletics Randy Vernon. “Coach Shelton has always represented himself and UC in a very positive way. His leadership on and off the field can be seen directly in the way his players conduct themselves. No one deserves the attention that a feat of this nature brings to an individual more than Brad. I congratulate Coach Shelton on this milestone and look forward to the next 500 wins under his guidance.”
During his time as the Patriots coach, Shelton has had 1 NAIA First Team All-American, 1 Region XI Player of the Year, 3 MSC Players of the Year, 2 MSC Pitchers of the Year, 2 MSC Freshmen of the Year, and 44 First Team All MSC performers. His players have also been successful in the classroom with many earning MSC Academic All-Conference. He has also coached 11 players that have moved on to play beyond the collegiate level in the professional ranks, including former Patriot and current MLB pitcher for the Houston Astros Mike Fiers.
Prior to coming to UC, Shelton was the head coach at St. Catharine College where he built a nationally ranked junior college program. During his six year tenure at the helm, the team was able to win 189 wins with 60 former players moving on to sign with four year colleges and universities. He also had 2 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft picks.
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Story courtesy of UC Multimedia/Athletic Services