Tom Keegan: Jamie Stanclift latest success story from family coaching tree

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Playing softball during her teenage years for the Lawrence Legends, which became the Kansas City Fusion, Jamie Stanclift’s head coach was her father, former University of Kansas softball coach Bob Stanclift and his longtime assistant, Gary Hines.

Now Jamie’s father and Hines are working for her at Baker University, and it’s still a winning combination.

Heading into this season, Baker’s single-season record for victories was 31. The Wildcats shattered that mark and stand at 40-14 in a season that may or may not be over. Hoping to land an at-large bid to the NAIA postseason tournament, the Wildcats will learn their fate Tuesday evening, watching the selection show as it streams online.

They have come a long way quickly. The seniors endured a 13-33 record as freshmen in Stanclift’s second year as a head coach. That speaks well of Stanclift's ability to judge talent and develop it.


Baker University softball coach Jamie Stanclift

A 2005 graduate of Free State High, at various times during her softball career, Stanclift played for her father and her mother, former Free State High softball coach Pam Pine, a player’s coach who always put a high premium on students enjoying the experience.

“Fun is definitely a big piece of things for my mom,” Stanclift said. “I’m not completely the same. When my dad coached at Kansas he was strictly business. I’m kind of a happy medium between them.”

Pine played at Kansas and her daughter played a year at University of Akron, and three at Wichita State, starting every game her final two seasons.

The better player? Jamie pondered the question before answering: “I’d probably have to say my mom."

The better coach? No pause this time. That answer came without hesitation: “Oh, me, definitely. She’s not serous enough sometimes for me.”

Yet, it’s also a trait that makes Pine a valuable resource at times.

“Sometimes, when I felt like I was getting too uptight, I called my mom and she’d tell me to chill out a little,” Stanclift said. “It’s really nice to have her as a sidekick and a motivator. And my dad’s been a huge help as a volunteer assistant. And Gary Hines is the best pitching coach I’ve ever been around. … My dad’s great about not stepping on my toes and, in his way, helping me by giving me constructive feedback all the time.”

Jamie served as a graduate assistant for a year at Baker.

“As soon as I did that, I knew coaching was where I needed to be and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” she said.

Why not? Clearly, she's very good at it.