John Harvey | Head Coach
University of Arkansas at Monticello Athletics Director Chris Ratcliff announced the hiring of John Harvey to become the university’s 11th head baseball coach on September 8, 2010.
Harvey was introduced to the community and members of the media at a morning press conference held inside UAM’s indoor practice facility.
“I am very excited to bring a coach with the experience and caliber that John has into our athletic department,” said Ratcliff at the press conference. “I had a very detailed game-plan going into this process… I wanted a man of high character and someone that has the proven ability to win, among other things… I called a lot of people for references, and John was the perfect fit for this opportunity.”
For the past six seasons, Harvey was rebuilding a Henderson State baseball program that has not won a conference championship since 1982. The past two seasons, Harvey has seen his hard work reflect in his team’s performance on the diamond. The Reddies broke the program’s single-season record for wins with 34 in 2009, but ironically, a 6-5 loss to UAM in Monticello smashed the Reddies’ hopes of qualifying for post-season play.
In addition to a record-breaking 2009 season in terms of wins, Harvey also produced a school-record seven All-GSC selections. Also during the 2009 season, the Reddies were ranked as high as No. 14 after upsetting then-ranked No. 7 North Alabama in early March.
In 2010, Harvey and the Reddies turned the corner with the program’s first ever appearance in the Gulf South Conference Championship Tournament as the GSC-West’s No. 4 seed. Harvey’s Reddies finished the season with an overall record of 31-18 and a 12-8 record in GSC games.
“I am very excited to be a Boll Weevil,” said Harvey after being introduced to the UAM community. “I know we can win here, but more importantly, I know we can win the right way… Our players will go to class and they will graduate… On the field, there will be an exciting brand of baseball… We will be very aggressive in all aspects of the game, and we will stress defense and effective pitching.”
Harvey continued, “The welcome I have received has been awesome… I want to thank Dr. (Jack) Lassiter, Chris Ratcliff and the entire hiring committee for giving me this opportunity."
In May of 2004, Harvey was named interim head coach at HSU after serving the previous two seasons as the program’s hitting, infield, recruiting, scouting and camp coordinator. In April of 2005, the interim part of his title was removed. In his first season as head coach, the Reddies finished the season with an overall record of 31-22 and 12-11 in GSC games for a fifth place finish in the division.
After his six-year tenure at HSU, Harvey sports a 154-148 overall career record and a 56-69 record in GSC games.
Prior to becoming an assistant coach at Henderson State, Harvey spent the 2002 season as an assistant coach at Itawamba Community College.
Harvey was a four-year letter winner for the Lyon College Scots under head coach Kirk Kelley. He received the “Scot of the Year” award in 2001, and also set nine school records. He is a 2001 graduate of Lyon College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 2004, he earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Henderson State.
Harvey is a native of Lufkin, Texas and attended Hudson High School. He is married to the former Jaime Bedard of Jonesboro, and the couple has two boys, Brooks Michael and Brock Maddox.
Mark Jelks | Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Mark Jelks was hired as the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s assistant baseball coach in August of 2014. He came to UAM after a two-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Great American Conference member Arkansas Tech University.
Since joining the UAM baseball program the Weevils have compiled a record of 120-74 with three consecutive GAC championship titles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, as well as, two NCAA regional selections in 2016 and 2017. Coach Jelks has won 4 GAC championship in the past 5 seasons and is currently the only coach to win GAC championships at two separate institutions.
UAM smashed the record books in 2016 with an overall record of 40-16 and a GAC record of 21-9. The Weevils finished the 2016 season ranked 21st nationally by Collegiate Baseball, while setting school records in wins (40), hits (578), doubles (116), home runs (56), runs scored (423), RBI’s (382), and walks (259). The Weevils saw the tradition of UAM baseball continue to build throughout the 2017 season repeating as the GAC tournament champions with a GAC record of (22-11) earning UAM back to back trips to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. The tradition of Weevils baseball remained strong in 2018 with the long sought after GAC regular season title after coming close in 2014 and 2016 with a conference record of (23-10).
Similarly to UAM, Jelks helped Arkansas Tech capture its first NCAA tournament berth as the regions No. 1 seed and tournament host in 2014 after the Wonder Boys won the GAC regular season championship. Tech finished that season with a 44-12 overall record and a 25-5 record against GAC competition. Throughout the course of the 2014 season, Jelks and the Wonder Boys broke school records in overall wins (44), conference wins (25) and consecutive wins (22), while also being ranked as high as No. 3 nationally by Collegiate Baseball.
Entering into his 11th season as a coach, Jelks has tutored seven MLB draft selections, nine All-America award recipients, 16 All-Region honorees, 50 all-conference picks, four Rawlings Gold Glove winners, one Josh Willingham D2 MVP winner, three GAC Player of the Year recipients, one GAC Freshman of the Year winner, two Josh Willingham D2 MVP Award semi-finalist, and two Brett Tomko D2 Pitcher of the Year semi-finalist.
The El Dorado, Arkansas native began his coaching career in 2008, joining Kirk Bock’s staff at Bryant High School, where he helped lead the Hornets to three consecutive 7A-Central conference championships (2009-11). The 2010 Hornets won the 7A state title. In his final year at Bryant, the Hornets climbed in the national high school rankings to as high as No. 8 and ended the season with another trip to the state finals. During his three years at Bryant, Jelks mentored 23 all-conference performers and six all-state players.
Prior to joining the staff at Tech, Jelks served a short stint at the University of Central Arkansas as the director of baseball operations, in which he coordinated many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Bears baseball program. During his first season at UCA, the Bears finished with their best record in school history after moving to the Division I level. The Bears also reached the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time in school history that year.
Jelks earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of the Ozarks in 2006, he and his wife Kelli had their first child Georgia Mae in August of 2017.