Brad Shelton enters his 22nd season as a head coach and 16th at The University of the Cumberlands. Shelton has an overall coaching record of 701 wins and 381 losses. Shelton's 512 wins at Cumberlands makes him the winningest Baseball Coach in the program’s history. It also ranks him 8th 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.
Shelton arrived on campus at UC in the fall of 2001, inheriting a team that was 7-34 in the previous season. Shelton directed 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 15 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 thirteen 30 plus wins seasons and three 40 plus wins seasons during that time period. The program has 15 straight seasons of 26 or more victories.
In 2016, The Patriots posted 33 wins vs. a schedule that was ranked the 28th Toughest in NAIA Baseball by Boyd’s World. Season highlights included a road series win at #19 Campbellsville and a home sweep of RV Saint Catharine College. Senior Jose Alonzo (OF) and Junior Kevin Pantoja (3B) were named first team All Mid-South Conference. Seniors Stone Osborne (OF) and Zach McRoberts (C) were named second team All Mid-South Conference as well as Junior (RHP) Noah Gapp. Junior Chase Schmittou (1B) and senior T.J. Campbell (RHP) won the MSC Rawlings Gold Glove award for their respective positions. The Patriots had 12 All Mid-South Conference Scholar Athletes and 5 NAIA Scholar Athletes.
In 2015, Cumberlands baseball posted 26 wins despite numerous injuries and a schedule that included 22 games vs. ranked or receiving votes teams. Junior Jose Alonzo was named first team All Mid South Conference and Freshman Will Roger was named Mid South Conference Freshman of the Year. Junior Stone Osborne won the MSC Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his play in centerfield. Cumberlands Baseball led all Mid-South Conference Schools with 13 All Academic Selections and 7 NAIA Scholar Athletes. Senior left hander Donovan Feenstra signed a professional contract with the Grays Harbor Gulls following an outstanding season.
In 2014, The Patriots fought hard down the stretch winning crucial series against Shawnee State, Saint Catharine and Lindsey Wilson to qualify for the Mid-South Conference Tournament in route to a 31 win season. Highlights of the season include a dramatic comeback win over the eventual national champions, Cumberland University in a regular season matchup, as well as walk off wins versus Madonna University and Brescia University. Senior Jared Martin wrapped up a stellar career by being named second team all MSC, winning the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and signing a professional contract with the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League. Seniors Hibraim Cordova and Junior Tony Webster were named first team all MSC. Fourteen Patriots were named Academic All Mid-South Conference and two received NAIA Scholar Athlete Awards.
In 2013, UC won 16 of 19 games to close the season with a 34-19 record while finishing in the middle of the pack of MSC play. The team was led offensively by junior Claudio Valencia who was named first team All Mid-South Conference. On the mound, the Patriots were led by junior Kahana Neal who was also named second team All Mid-South Conference.
In 2012, the Patriots struggled all season to get above the .500 mark and ended the season with a 26-28 record while finishing in the middle of the pack in MSC play. The team was led offensively by senior Evan Bennett who was named first team All Mid-South Conference.
In 2011, A great start had the Patriots on the verge of a National Top 25 ranking with a record of 25-8 mid way through the season. Injuries caused several starters to miss games and the team slipped to third in the conference standings and ended the season at 35-20 (15-11 MSC). Statistically, the Patriots hit .295 as a team with 88 doubles, 10 triples, and 14 homeruns. The team also had 76 stolen bases to go along with a .968 fielding percentage. Senior Sean Mahley was drafted in the second round of the Frontier League Baseball Draft and signed with the Schaumburg Boomers in the off-season and was later signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 2010 the Patriots started the season receiving votes in the NAIA Pre-season Poll and were picked to finish second in the Mid-South Conference. After a tough start to the season, UC won 10 of their last 12 conference games to finish as the #5 seed in the MSC Tournament. The Patriots came up short in the tournament and ended the season with an overall record of 28-28. Statistically, the Patriots offense had a .337 batting average, 110 doubles, 15 triples, and 49 homeruns. The Patriots led the conference in stolen bases with 113 and had a fielding percentage of .950.
In 2009 the Patriots began the season in the NAIA Pre-Season Top 10 poll and were picked as the favorite in the Mid-South Conference. After some obstacles, the Patriots finished as the #3 seed in the MSC Tournament. The Patriots came up short in the tournament tying Georgetown for second place. The Patriots finished with an overall record of 31-19 and a 14-8 record in the MSC. Statistically, the Patriots offense posted a .311 batting average, 111 doubles, 20 triples, and 46 homeruns. The Patriots led the conference in fielding percentage (.957) and stolen bases (87). Some highlights for the season include wins over several ranked opponents including Union and Tennessee Wesleyan. The teams 31 win season marked its record 8th straight 30 plus win seasons.
In 2008 the UC Patriots captured the Mid-South Conference Championship recording a 17-2 record in conference play. Overall, the team posted a 43-16 record and was ranked as high as #6 nationally. The team received the #1 seed in the Region XI Tournament and was ranked #7 in the final NAIA National Poll. Offensively, the Patriots set a school record with 182 stolen bases and hit .326 as a team. The defense set school records in fielding percentage (.959) and double plays (51). The pitching staff pitched 24 complete games including six shutouts. Left fielder Trevor Urbanick was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Year, Region XI Player of the Year, and NAIA first team All American. Junior pitcher Adam Blakey was named Mid-South Conference Pitcher of the Year. Junior second baseman Drew Denton received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the nation's top defensive second baseman. Third baseman Javier Gali-Rodriguez signed a professional contract with the Corpus Christi Beach Dogs of the Continental Baseball League. Senior Jon Silverman was named the Mid-South Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year.
In 2007 The Patriots began the season ranked in the NAIA Pre-Season top 10 and led the Mid-South Conference for most of the season before injuries and inexperience caused the team to fall into a third place finish. The team finished with a 35-19 record. Offensively, the Patriots offense hit .315 and set a then school record for stolen bases (120). The pitching staff had a team ERA of 3.15 and threw 20 complete games. Senior outfielder Daniel Guttridge was named the Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and signed a professional contract with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League.
In 2006 UC continued to excel at the conference and regional levels as the team won another Mid-South Conference Championship and placed third in the NAIA Region XI Tournament. For the season, the team compiled 39 wins against 16 losses. The regional appearance was the Patriots third in three seasons and fourth in Shelton's five years at the helm. The team was ranked as high as #22 during the season's weekly NAIA national polls. Senior shortstop Jon Sullivan signed a professional contract with the Macon Music of the South Coast League.
2005 was another outstanding year for the Patriots as they made an excellent run in the NAIA Region XI Tournament. The team advanced to the Regional Championship game for the first time in School history. The team's highest ranking in '05 was #10. The Patriots received an at large bid to the NAIA Regionals and eliminated #15 Campbellsville, #6 Trevecca University and Lambuth University, but were defeated by defending National Champions Cumberland University. The team finished the season at 40-19.
The 2004 edition of Patriot baseball was one of the greatest teams in the program's storied history. The team set many school records on its way to a 45-11 record and #3 national ranking. The team posted a 17-3 record in Mid-South Conference play, winning the regular season and tournament championships. Junior outfielder Roman Cox was named Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and senior pitcher J.J. Jackson was named Mid-South Conference Pitcher of the Year. Jackson signed a professional contract with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League.
In 15 seasons as Cumberlands' skipper, the team has 512 wins, five NAIA regional appearances, three Mid-South Conference Championships, one Mid-South Conference Tournament Championship, and one NAIA Regional Runner-Up. One player has been named First Team NAIA All American. One has been named Region XI Player of the Year. Eight players have been named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, three have been named Mid-South Conference Players of the Year, two have been named Mid-South Conference Pitcher of the Year, two MSC Freshmen of the Year, and 46 have been named First Team All Mid-Conference.
Prior to coming to UC, Shelton was the head coach at St. Catharine College where he built a nationally ranked junior college program. Highlights of his six year tenure at SCC are 189 wins, 2 40+ win seasons, 60 former players signed with four year colleges and universities, two top ten national rankings, and 2 major league draft choices.
Since becoming a head coach, 9 teams he has coached finished the season ranked in the top 25 in team hitting, 17 of those teams hit over .300. Ten of those teams were recognized by receiving votes for the national polls. 16 former players have been drafted or signed by professional baseball teams.
A former associate scout for the Texas Rangers (4 years), Shelton is a veteran of several summer baseball camps, including the University of Kentucky Camp, Champions Five Star Camp, Blue-Grey Select, Best of Kentucky, and Central Kentucky Baseball Clinic. Shelton directed camps at St. Catharine and currently hosts camps throughout the year at The University of the Cumberlands.
Shelton, a 22 year member of the American Baseball Coaches Association, served in 2003 and 2004 as the Chair of the Mid-South Conference Baseball Committee.
A graduate of Asbury University (B.S.), The University of the Cumberlands (M.A.) and Owen County High School, Shelton is married to Candace (Isaac), a speech pathologist in the Williamsburg School System. They have two sons Tyler (16) and Clay (14). They are members of the Main Street Baptist Church, Williamsburg, KY.
In his spare time, Coach Shelton enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, and maintaining and improving the facilities at Doyle Buhl Stadium.