Jerry McCarty Born: July 7, 1939 (Great Bend, KS)
Graduated: Coffeyville-Field Kindley High School, 1957; Northwestern Oklahoma State University, 1964; Emporia State University, 1970 (M.E.)
Anyone who has been a part of it will tell you, it isn’t easy. There are long nights on a bus going to and from games, sometimes road trips lasting up to four hours or more. There’s the non-stop cycle of recruiting, always building for next year’s team. Not to mention the quality of the opponents you face game in and game out. Many will tell you, coaching in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference isn’t easy.
With one of the richest histories in junior college athletics, several coaches from the KJCCC have already found their way to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Coaches like Linda Hargrove, Dick Foster, Troy Morrell, Kurt Budke, and Lafayette Norwood, have all cut their teeth in the coaching ranks on the KJCCC circuit. Today, another legend of the conference is added to the roll in Jerry McCarty.
Born in Great Bend but raised in Hollyrood, McCarty graduated from Coffeyville-Field Kindley High School in 1957 before going to college at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. Following his college days, McCarty broke into coaching at Beeler High School in western Kansas. Two years later, McCarty moved on to Hope, Kansas, where he coached for ten years and made two state basketball tournament appearances.
In 1977 however, the path that leads McCarty to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame today, began. That was the year the McCarty was named the head coach of the women’s bas 6 Rketball team at Cloud County Community College.
At the time, women’s sports on the national stage was still relatively young. Title IX, the landmark legislation passed in 1972 that opened the door for women’s athletic endeavors, was still in its infancy. In fact, Cloud County had only had a women’s basketball program for seven seasons prior to McCarty’s arrival.
McCarty hit the ground running. In his first season with the Thunderbirds, he led the team to a school record in wins with sixteen. He would break that record two more times in the next five seasons. By his second season, McCarty claimed his first Region VI title and in his third season, he led the Thunderbirds to a National Junior College Athletic Association runner-up finish. In total, McCarty claimed three Region VI titles in six seasons in Concordia while compiling a record of 143-28. During his time at Cloud, McCarty also coached the baseball team from 1978 to 1980.
McCarty left Cloud County following the 1983 season to take the same position at Barton County Community College in Great Bend. Despite the change in location, the winning continued.
In his first three seasons, McCarty led the Cougars to back-to-back-to-back Region VI titles in 1984, 1985, and 1986. He added three more throughout his tenure at Barton in 1988, 1990, and 1992, while racking up a win-loss total of 322-76. When McCarty retired in 1995, he held school records for wins at both Cloud County and Barton County and held the top mark for wins all-time in the KJCCC with a combined record of 465-104. For his career, McCarty won an astounding nine Region VI titles in eighteen seasons.
The accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed at the time either. In 1986, McCarty was named the National Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Junior College Coach of the Year. In 1994, McCarty was selected as an assistant coach for the 1994 U.S. Women’s Olympic Festival team. McCarty was inducted to the Cloud County Community College Hall of Fame and was a charter member of the Barton County Community College Hall of Fame in 2000.
Despite the way Jerry McCarty might make it look, winning in the KJCCC isn’t easy. Just ask him, he’ll tell you.