Parker resigns at OKWU; Kelley returns

OKWU Athletics
Nick Morris, Sports Information Director

BARTLESVILLE – After seven years at the helm of the Oklahoma Wesleyan baseball program, Matt Parker has submitted his resignation to Athletic Director Mark Molder and Oklahoma Wesleyan University announced today the hire of Kirk Kelley as Head Coach of OKWU Baseball.

“Matt Parker did an amazing job leading our baseball program. His successes have been some of the best throughout the country during his time at OKWU,” Molder said.

During his time at Oklahoma Wesleyan, Parker compiled a 325-111 overall record and guided the Eagles to six 40-win season and two appearances in the NAIA World Series in 2014 and 2017.

Oklahoma Wesleyan compiled a 53-8 record this past season and went 25-5 in the KCAC, finishing a the Regular Season Conference Champions and also capturing the KCAC Tournament Championship.


2012 42 25 0.637 12 8 0.600
2013 31 23 0.574 13 11 0.542
2014 58 8 0.879 23 1 0.958
2015 49 14 0.778 19 5 0.792
2016 41 23 0.641 21 15 0.583
2017 51 12 0.810 20 6 0.769
2018 53 8 0.869 25 5 0.833


“We’re excited to have Coach Kelley return to the OKWU community in leadership of this team,” said Athletic Director Mark Molder. “He has a proven record of excellence and we can’t wait to see what’s next for OKWU Baseball.”

Kelley began his impressive coaching career in the late 1980s at Allen County Community College, then served at Northwestern Missouri State as infield coach until 1990 when he became a talent scout for the Baltimore Orioles.

In 1991, Kelley returned to coaching as the infield coach at University of Memphis. Then, in 1992, Kelley moved to Lyon College to start a baseball program, where he was head coach and athletic director. During his time at Lyon, Kelley coached multiple teams to regional tournaments and national rankings, as well as dozens of All-Conference players, several All-Americans, and more.

After a 17-year stint at Lyon, Coach Kelley joined OKWU as head baseball coach and athletic director, where in his two years coaching, he led the team to the 2011 NCCAA National Championship and was named the NCCAA National Coach of the Year.

Since then, Kelley has coached at University of Central Arkansas, established Lyon College’s first-ever football program, and most recently, returned to baseball at Eastern Oklahoma State College.

Kelley is a graduate of St. Mary of the Plains College and received his master’s degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University.  He and his wife, Marcia, have seven children.

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