Roblee named KCKCC women’s assistant soccer coach

Jefferson Roblee (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

One of Kansas City’s most successful soccer coaches over the last 25 years, Jefferson Roblee is the new assistant women’s coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

A former head men’s and women’s head coach at William Jewell College in Liberty, Roblee also boasts a wealth of experience at the club level in the Kansas City area.

“Am very excited to have the knowledge and input Jefferson brings into our program,” KCKCC head coach Shawn Uhlenhake said. “He has a great reputation as a coach and as a person. I’ve had some really good people involved with this program and I think he will continue to help us build and define our culture for the KCKCC soccer program. I’m excited to see what he can add to the program.”

The Blue Devils are coming off their best season in history in 2019, winning a record 13 games and reaching the championship game of the Region VI playoffs.

Roblee succeeds Sara Matthews, who left to become head coach at her alma mater, Baker University. Uhlenhake’s first assistant coach, Katie Kelly, also resigned to become head coach at Avila University.

“I’m excited to join the KCKCC soccer family and assist Shawn in developing college soccer student-athletes to achieve and succeed,” Roblee said.

The associate head coach at William Jewell from 2006-2010. Roblee was the Cardinals’ head men’s coach from 2011-15 and head women’s coach from 2011-2019, earning places in the national rankings with both programs. His men’s team was ranked 21st nationally and earned a berth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship in 2012. His nationally ranked women’s team reached the NCAA DII national tournament in 2012 and the 2013 team was ranked No. 12 nationally and qualified for the GLVC tournament.

Both teams achieved academic success as well – the men’s team winning NSCAA Academic Awards in each of his five seasons and the women’s team earned seven straight NSCAA Academic Awards from 2011-18. The women’s team also earned a NSCAA Team Ethics Award in 2012. Individually, Roblee has coached 16 players who have been drafted or signed by teams in the MLS (Major Soccer League) and more than 70 players who have earned All-America honors or played with professional teams.

Roblee began coaching at the club level in 1995, coaching teams that won the Kansas State Cup championship in 2001 and Missouri State Cup championships in 2005 and 2006. The head coach of the Kansas City Brass team that qualified for the U.S. Open Cup in 2007, Roblee has also been involved with the U.S. Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development program and served as an evaluator for Sporting KC and FC Kansas City open tryouts.

Coaching soccer runs in the Roblee family. Jefferson’s twin brother, Lincoln, is the head women’s soccer coach at Benedictine College. A graduate of Winnetonka High School. Roblee played college soccer at the University of Tulsa before finishing his communications degree at Park University.

He has certification and membership in a half-dozen national coaching organizations including the U.S. Soccer Federation and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

All KCKCC athletic events pushed back to next spring

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College will be without any competitive sports this fall.

By a vote of the membership, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) postponed all fall and winter athletic events and moved them to next spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am in full support of the decision made by the NJCAA leadership,” KCKCC Athletic Director Tony Tompkins said. “They did a great of gathering feedback from the various regions. I believe this is the best approach for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete and finish their seasons.

“Things are going to look a lot different this season but I am very optimistic we can still provide a great atmosphere for our athletes to be successful both academically and athletically,” he said.

The vote affects six KCKCC sports – men’s and women’s soccer, golf, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. Baseball, softball and golf events are annually on the spring schedule.

Athletes will be allowed to practice in all sports during the fall and officials in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) are looking into the possibility of a limited number of scrimmages between conference members.

“We are expecting the KJCCC to finalize decisions about scrimmages at our meeting in early August,” Tompkins said. “There’s a wide range of recommendations from across the state but we are all in agreement that the health and safety of our athletes is our top priority.”

All KCKCC athletes will have daily screenings and additional preventive measures will be put in place by Aug. 1 to provide a safe environment for those involved. The parameters for each of the sports with dates subject to change by NJCAA and KJCCC guidelines:

Soccer – 60 days of fall practice between Aug. 15-Nov. 15. Spring practice permitted starting March 15 with a starting date of April 2. No more than 14 games allowed and all tournament play must be completed by May 24. Nationals championships will begin June 2.

Volleyball – Fall practice allowed between Aug. 15-Nov. 15. Spring practice may begin Jan. 11 with competition to being May. 29. Play will be limited to a maximum of 21 dates with a completion date of April 3. The national championships will be held April 15-17.

Basketball – Practices allowed between Sept. 15-Dec. 15. The number of spring games will be limited to 22 with practice beginning Jan. 11 and competition Jan. 22. All play must be completed by April 11 with national championships beginning April 19.

Golf – Fall practices allowed between Sept. 5-Nov. 15. Spring practice can begin Jan. 10 and competition Jan. 22. National championship will be play May 11-14.

Baseball – Fall practices between Sept. 5-Nov. 15. Spring schedule will be limited to a maximum of 56 games with practices to begin Jan. 10 and competition Jan. 22. All competition must be completed by May 23 with the NJCAA DI World Series to begin May 29.

Softball – 60 days of fall practice allowed between Sept. 5-Nov. 15. Spring practice may begin Jan. 10 with competition starting Jan. 22. Schedule limited to 27 playing dates with all competition ended by May 19. The NCAA Division II national tournament will be played May 25-29.

Former Neosho coach new KCKCC volleyball assistant

Asya Herron

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

A Jayhawk Conference rival for 12 years, Asya Herron is bringing her vast volleyball coaching experience to Kansas City Kansas Community College as assistant coach.

“An ideal fit for our top 20 volleyball program,” said Blue Devil head coach Mary Bruno-Ballou. “We are so excited to have Asya on our staff and a part of the program. She brings a wealth of volleyball knowledge as well as incredible recruiting skills and will only help to advance our program to the next level.”

Herron has been head coach at Neosho Community College in Chanute for the last 10 years after starting her coaching career there, serving as assistant coach for two years beginning in 2008. In addition, she has coached the KC Power club team in Overland Park the last two years.

“I’m excited,” Herron said. “I love how Mary’s players always work hard and how she always has a strong program. Playing the Jayhawk, you’re always playing the toughest competition. When it comes to the Top 20 teams in the nation, it’s a no-brainer. The Jayhawk always has more teams in the Top 20 teams in the nation.”

With her experience at Neosho and coaching club teams in the Kansas City metro area, Herron will be particularly valuable in recruiting.

“I see a lot of kids and have a lot of former players, friends and contacts in the city and the state,” Herron said. As a head coach, she also brings a wealth of experience in student academics, scheduling, statistics and multiple other responsibilities.

A native of Chanute, Herron was a standout athlete in volleyball, basketball and softball at Chanute High School. She began her collegiate education at Neosho Community College, playing basketball and earning All-Jayhawk Conference honors in volleyball.

Herron completed her volleyball career at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, earning a Bachelor of Arts in sports management and administration in 2005. A classmate at William Penn, Joe McKinstry is the current women’s basketball coach at KCKCC.

Herron started coaching club teams while at William Penn. After two years as assistant at Neosho Community College, she was a graduate assistant at Pittsburg State for the 2008 spring semester before returning to Neosho that fall.