JM Kelly- East Central College Head Baseball Coach

East Central College hired Jacob “JM” Kelly as the new skipper of the Falcons Baseball squad in the spring of 2023. He took the Falcons to a 20-22 record in his first season with big wins coming over NJCAA DI and DII opponents St. Charles, St. Louis, and Three Rivers.

JM Kelly is entering his 2nd Season at the helm of the East Central College baseball program. Kelly guided the Falcons to the highest winning percentage in a season since the resurrection of the program after taking over a club that finished 2022 with a .446 winning percentage. While under his guidance, the skipper oversaw the Region 16 Player of the Year, Shane Kearbey, who had a record year for the Falcons.

Coach Kelly spent 2022 at Texas A&M Kingsville where the Javelinas saw success both at the plate and behind it. Senior INF Giancarlo Servin earned 3rd Team All-American honors while Nick Wolff, the Javelina Catcher, earned Lone Star Conference Newcomer of the Year. The Javelinas finished the year ranked in the top 25 and were the San Angelo Regional Runner-Up where they lost to Angelo State, the eventual 3rd place finisher at the College World Series.

JM spent the 2021 season as the catching coach and assistant hitting coach at the D1 level with Charleston Southern University as well as serving as the camp coordinator. The Buccaneer catchers threw out runners 10% more often than the previous season as well as averaging fewer passed balls per 9 innings. The Charleston Southern hitters finished in the Top 3 in the Conference in almost every major offensive category. While in Charleston he also worked with the Tampa Bay Rays Low-A affiliate, Charleston River Dogs. This was his second experience working around professional baseball as he also spent two years as an associate scout with the Houston Astros.

Kelly spent a year and a half as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for his Junior College alma mater, NOC Tonkawa. Kelly coached catchers and hitters while also serving as the camp coordinator. In his only full season assisting with the NOC hitters, they ranked in the top 10 nationally in almost every offensive category. The catchers also saw success throwing out over 35% of would-be base stealers. In his time at Tonkawa, he saw 10 players move on to the D1 level and 8 more move on to the D2 level. He also coached 5 All-Americans in his time with the Mavericks.

JM spent his first season at the collegiate level as the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Carl Albert State College. Kelly coached 2 Gold Glove Honorees and 1 All-Conference performer at CASC. He saw 4 of his players go on to play D1 baseball and 6 others go on to the Division 2 level. While coaching the hitters, Carl Albert finished nationally ranked in four categories: 9th in Batting Average, 10th in Slugging, 21st in OBP, and 22nd in HR.

Prior to stepping into the collegiate ranks, he spent a year at Tomball High School, a 6A program in the state of Texas with a very rich tradition of success. Kelly coached all aspects of the game, but his main focus was with catchers and base running. 9 players that he coached went on to play at the D1 level while 11 others went on the play across various levels of college baseball. During this time in Tomball, he also served as an associate scout for Toby Bicknell and the Prep Baseball Report team in Texas.

Kelly has had five successful summers of coaching at the Collegiate Summer League level. He spent the summer of 2023 as the skipper for the Thunder Bay Border Cats who finished one game shy of a playoff berth after being dormant in the last three seasons due to Covid-19. In 2022 he was the Head Coach for the North Platte Plainsmen of the Independence League. In just 5 months he put together a team that would finish their inaugural year at 32-21 and held the best record in the league throughout most of the season. He spent the summer of 2021 as the Pitching Coach for the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League where he helped guide a pitching staff that finished at the top of the league in ERA while seeing 2 of the 4 pitchers selected for the All-TCL Team come from Brazos Valley; one of which was the League’s Pitcher of the Year. He spent the summer of 2020 as the Hastings Sodbusters (Expedition League) skipper and oversaw a team that finished second in the Expedition League at 29-21. That season was the first, and only, in Sodbusters history in which they finished with a winning record. His first year as a manager was spent with the El Dorado Broncos (Sunflower League), who the year prior finished with only 9 wins. In his lone season with the club, he helped guide them to a 22-13 record and narrowly missed out on the NBC World Series.

In just 5 seasons, including the year shortened by Covid-19, Kelly has been a part of 115 wins at the college level, and has amassed a 112-94 record as a head coach in the summer collegiate ranks.

Before Kelly stepped into coaching, he played at NCAA Division 1, Lamar University in Beaumont, TX where he played corner infield and caught. He was a part of the 2016 team that spent time in the Top 25 polls and beat 6 different opponents ranked in the Top 25 while on a stretch of 16 wins in a row.

Kelly graduated from Lamar University in 2018 with his bachelor’s degree and graduated with his master’s degree in education (Sports Administration) in 2021 from East Central University.

He is married to the former Emily Neuman of Winnie, TX and the two live in Union.


Team      Year          Record

ECC         2023         20-22