A veteran of 15 years of coaching, Shawn Uhlenhake, is the new women’s soccer coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
A Topeka native, Uhlenhake comes to KCKCC from Western Texas College in Snyder where he coached both men’s and women’s soccer for the past four years.
“I’m excited about the opportunity, ready to embrace a new challenge,” says Uhlenhake. “Beautiful facilities. Great location. Really a good foundation on which we can build.”
Uhlenhake began his collegiate coaching career as women’s coach at Barton County Community College in 2011 before moving to Western Texas as head men’s and women’s coach in January 2012. In his first year, he took the Western Texas men’s team to the national tournament for the first time in school history. Named the Plains District Coach of the Year in 2012, Uhlenhake’s men’s teams were ranked in the Top 20 at some point in each of his four years.
Uhlenhake, who holds coaching licenses with both the U.S. Soccer Federation and the National Soccer Coaches Assn., said he pursued the KCKCC position to be closer to family. “My parents live in Garnett and my two brothers live here in Kansas City,” he says.
Uhlenhake grew up playing soccer. “My dad, who ran track at Baker University, was my first coach until I was in about sixth grade when I started playing club soccer in Kansas City. I played other sports but I remember soccer was always a priority.”
A 1997 graduate of Topeka High School, Uhlenhake was a member of the team that lost to Olathe East in the Class 6A state championship game his senior year.
The next four years, he played on teams that qualified for the national tournament each year. In 1998, he played on an NJCAA national championship at State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo., then helped Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., reach the national his final two years.
Uhlenhake began his coaching career with the Kansas Rush club team in Olathe. After seven years with the Rush, he spent one year with the Sporting Blue Valley club team before taking the head women’s coach job at Barton County.