Getting to know new Hastings Sodbusters head coach JM Kelly

Southeast Texas native JM Kelly takes over the reins of the Hastings Sodbusters.
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 9:47 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - JM Kelly is the new head coach of the Hastings Sodbusters. They hired Kelly after Bill Clay stepped down over concerns for his health with rising COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Kelly was named head coach on July 8. Since then he has been learning the team and roster. Kelly said baseball is second nature to him but learning the team in a short amount of time has been a challenge.

“That’s kind of been the toughest part of it is not being prepared. Not being as prepared as I would like,” Kelly said. “But I think when it comes to the baseball part and the games, you can never be unprepared. I think I’m always prepared for that. I’ll always be able to hop in and coach.”

Kelly grew up in southeast Texas where he played baseball for as long as he can remember. He played college ball at Northern Oklahoma College and Lamar University. He stopped playing his senior year to begin coach.

He is now the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northern Oklahoma. This past season they went 23-4 before their season was cut short.

“The baseball part is what made me go into coaching. I don’t think I could ever not be around the game,” he said. “I am probably one of the people who will die in the third base coaching box one day. I just can’t get away from it. It’s kind of addicting honestly.”

Kelly said he loves Hastings and is excited for the opportunity to be able to coach when so many summer leagues were cancelled.

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