Howard College Hawks Head Softball Coach Kelly Raines led the 2018 squad to in impressive 42-9 record while winning the Conference and Regional Championship. In 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011, Coach Raines has won the Regional Tournament advancing to the National Tournament in St. George, Utah. In 2015, the Hawks finished with a 4th place finish at the National Tournament making that the best finish in program history. Coach Raines has also led the Hawks to 6 Conference Championships. Coach Raines enters her 14 season as Head Coach for the Hawks. In her 13 seasons as Head Coach, she has earned an overall record of 535-211.
Coach Raines came to Howard from NAIA Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri where she served as the head women's softball coach of the Lady Lions from 2003-2005.
The Hallsville, Missouri native began her college softball career in 1996 playing pitcher for Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola Florida, earning her Associate of Arts degree in 1997. She then continued her college career playing two years for the Lindenwood University Lions. She received several honors, including being named to the All-Tournament and All-Region team as well as earning NAIA All- American recognition for two consecutive years 1998 and 1999. She also received the prestigious award of Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American 1998 and 1999. In 1999, Raines received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education majoring in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration. She earned her Master's degree in Business Administration in December 2000 from Lindenwood University. In October of 2007 Coach Raines was inducted into the Lindenwood University Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Inaugural inductee class.
Coach Raines is no stranger to the WJCAC level of competition having served as assistant coach at Midland College for the 2001-2003 seasons. While at Midland, she helped guide the Lady Chaps to one conference championship, two region championships and two appearances at the National Tournament in Clermont, Florida finishing 4th and 7th respectively.
Howard College Athletic Director Terry Hansen describes Raines as an effective teacher/coach of the game. "She is a high energy individual and is well respected by her colleagues throughout the coaching profession. Howard College is very fortunate to have Kelly lead our women's program," said Hansen.
Coach Raines family consists of husband Scott Raines, who is the head men's basketball coach at Howard College, and 12 year old son Austen Raines.
Shelby Shelton began as the Assistant Softball Coach of the Howard Hawks following finishing her career as a collegiate softball player in 2015.
Coach Shelton was a former player at Howard College during 2011-2013 for Head Coach Kelly Raines, where she was on the 2012 softball team that won the Regional V West Championship and finished 9th at the National Tournament in St. George, Utah. In 2013, the team won the WJCAC Championship finishing with a record of 53-11.
After finishing her playing career at Howard, Coach Shelton went on to play at the University of Texas-Tyler from 2013-2015. During her two years at UT Tyler, she was involved in winning two ASC Conference Championships, one Regional Championship, and one Super-Regional Championship. In her senior season, she helped lead UT Tyler to the National Championship Tournament in Salem, Virginia. The team made school history by finishing as the NCAA National Runner-Up with a 50-5 overall record.
All four years of her playing career, Coach Shelton received All-Conference honors. Throughout her career, she also received several other honors, such as All-Region and All-Tournament teams. She was also on All-Academic teams as well as being named a NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete.
In her first three seasons of coaching, the Hawks have won the WJCAC Conference Championship and the Region V West Championship. Howard has competed in the National Tournament all three years with a 5th place finish in 2017. In 2016, Howard placed 4 players on the WJCAC All-Conference Team, 2 on the NFCA All-Region Team, and 3 on the NFCA All-American Team. In 2017, Howard’s Kaylynn Lopez received the WJCAC MVP award along with 9 players receiving All-Conference awards. There were also 4 players on the NFCA All-Region Team and 4 players on the NFCA All-American Team. In 2018, Howard’s Kylie Shay was named the WJCAC MVP along with 6 players receiving All-Conference awards. There was also 5 players on the NFCA All-Region Team and 2 players on the NFCA All-American Team. In addition, Raines and Shelton were named the NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
She graduated from UT Tyler with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and has a Master of Science degree in Health, Kinesiology and Sports Studies with Athletic Administration concentration from Texas A&M University- Commerce.
Coach Shelton grew up in Hughes Springs, Texas, where her parents still reside. She also has two brothers that played collegiate baseball.
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