When it comes to winning NJCAA Division II national basketball championships, no one has ever done it better than Joe McKinstry at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
In McKinstry’s first season in 2016, he guided the Lady Blue Devils to KCKCC’s first National Championship in history, becoming the first ever college basketball coach in the state of Kansas (men or women) to win a national championship in the first season as a head coach. In 2019, McKinstry did it again.
In each of those magical seasons, McKinstry was named Coach of The Year in NJCAA Division II District “B;” the NJCAA DII National Tournament “Coach of The Tournament” and, the Spalding NJCAA DII National Coach of The Year. In 2019, McKinstry also earned his first Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Coach of the Year award after the Blue Devils captured the regular season conference championship for the first since 1997. He begins his fifth season as KCKCC head coach with a 105-31 record.
Likewise, each year the Blue Devils were clearly the class of the national tournament. In 2016, no team in the national came closer than 14 points as the KCKCC won four games by an average of 19 points. In 2019, the Blue Devils led each of the four national tournament games by 20 or more points including 25-5 in the championship game.
McKinstry coached three All-Conference and All-Region performers in compiling a 33-3 record in 2015-16. Leading the group was sophomore Cheyenne North, an NJCAA All-American who was also named first team All-Conference and All-Region VI and the Most Outstanding Player of the National Tournament. Sophomore Erin Anderson joined North as a first team selection on both the All-Conference and All-Region VI teams and the 2016 National Tournament All-Tournament Team while freshman Brooklyn Wagler was selected to the national all-tournament team. An All-Jayhawk Conference and All-Region VI honorable mention as a sophomore, Wagler was named to the NJCAA All-Star Game in July 2016 comprised of the country’s top sophomores to be.
Two All-Americans, Nija Collier and Kisi Young, provided the foundation for the 32-4 championship team in 2019. The NJCAA DII National Player of the Year (a KCKCC first), Collier was also the KJCCC Player of the Year, a two-time National Player of the Week and six-time KJCCC Player of the Week. Young became KCKCC’s first second team All-America as the most accurate shooter in school history (.639). They were joined by Lillie Moore on the All-Tournament team.
McKinstry first came to KCKCC in August of 2014 as the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach for Head Coach Kelley Newton and the Blue Devil men’s basketball program. He helped guide the team to a 23-9 record, a Jayhawk Conference Division II regular season championship, and a berth in the NJCAA Division II Region VI Championship game during the 2014-2015 season.
Before arriving at KCKCC, McKinstry spent seven seasons as associate head coach at his alma mater, William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The Statesmen went 161-70, won three Midwest Collegiate Conference championships and gained the NAIA Division II national tournament four times, finishing as national runner-up in 2013 and reaching the Elite Eight in 2014.
A point guard at William Penn, McKinstry finished his four years of competition as No. 5 on the all-time assist list and in the Top 10 in assists, steals and made 3-point shots before earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Strength in Conditioning. McKinstry then earned a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership from William Penn in 2013.
A 1999 graduate of Kansas City’s Oak Park High School, McKinstry has three daughters, the most recent Joey born to McKinstry and his wife, Carleigh, in April of 2018. Joey joins Addalyn 13, and Macey, 11, in the McKinstry family.