|John' Ontjes' Year-by-Year Record at Hutchinson|
|* - Jayhawk Conference ruling forced Hutch to forfeit 30 regular-season wins, including all 16 KJCCC wins.|
Former Blue Dragon basketball great John Ontjes became the Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball program’s sixth head coach on Aug. 9, 2007.
In just his second season, Ontjes led the Blue Dragons to their first Region VI championship in 32 years. Now 12 years into his tenure, Hutchinson women’s basketball is among the nation’s elite.
Ontjes has led the Hutchinson women’s program to six Jayhawk Conference championships, six Region VI championships, eight NJCAA Tournament appearances, three NJCAA Tournament national runner-up finishes (2012, 2014, 2015) and two other national semifinal appearances (2013, 2019)
Ontjes’ coaching record is now 347-72 overall, including an astounding 180-38 mark in Jayhawk Conference games. Ontjes is Hutchinson’s all-time women’s basketball coaching wins leader and leader in winning percentage (82.6 percent)
Ontjes has been named the Jayhawk West coach of the year five times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016) and the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s Junior College coach of the year six times (2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019). In the summer of 2015, Ontjes was named the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission’s Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year.
Ontjes reached 100 wins (119 games) faster than any previous Hutch coach. He posted the second-most wins (40) in his first 50 games at HutchCC. He was also the second fastest to 50 wins (62 games).
Before Ontjes’ arrival prior to the 2007-08 season, Hutchinson women’s basketball had never had an All-American. The program now has 15 NJCAA All-Americans. Ontjes has coached four KJCCC Most Valuable Players, five KJCCC Freshmen of the Year and 36 All-KJCCC Players.
Hutchinson has posted its only seven 30-win seasons under Ontjes (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019).
Ontjes has made the Blue Dragon program a stepping stone to Division I. Ontjes has helped several players springboard to the next level. Ontjes has now has 32 Division I signees and 54 overall four-year signees in his first 12 seasons.
Ontjes’ first season in with the Blue Dragons (2007-08) was a successful one, going 24-8, finishing third in the Jayhawk Conference Western Division and advancing to the Region VI quarterfinals. The 24 victories tied for the third-most wins in a season in program history. Ontjes’ first team also produced the program’s first All-American (Amanda Fessenden, honorable mention).
The 2008-09 season proved to be a foreshadow of what direction the program was moving in. Ontjes guided the Blue Dragons to their first Region VI championship since 1977, going 31-6 overall. Hutch went 13-3 in the Jayhawk West, tying for second and tied a school record for league wins. Individually, Heather Robben set the freshman scoring record and earned NJCAA All-America honorable mention honors. Ariella McGhee broke the single-season and freshman rebounding records and was the Region VI Tournament MVP.
The 2009-10 Blue Dragons went 29-4, losing to eventual Region VI champion Labette in the semifinals of the Region VI Tournament. Hutch finished second in the Jayhawk West with 14 league wins and wound up ranked 15th in the final poll. Sophomore Heather Robben became the program’s first preseason NJCAA All-American and finished as a third-team All-American. Robben became the program’s career scoring leader and Ariella McGhee became the program’s career rebounding leader.
The 2010-11 Blue Dragons posted a 30-win season for just the second time in program history, going 30-3. Hutch won its first Jayhawk West championship (15-1) for the first time since 1980 and advanced all the way to the Region VI championship game. The Blue Dragons reached as high as No. 5 in the NJCAA national rankings in 2010. Ontjes was named the 2011 Jayhawk West Coach of the Year and Hutchinson swept the league’s top honors. Freshman Jackie Patterson was a second-team All-American as well as the Jayhawk West MVP and Freshman of the Year, first-team All-Region VI and the Region VI Tournament MVP. Freshman guard Alysse Barlow was also a first-team all-conference and all-region selection. The 2011 Blue Dragons also set a team scoring record after averaging 76.0 points per game. Also for the second time in program history, the Blue Dragons were the top defensive team in the nation, allowing a scant 49.0 points per game.
Then came 2011-12 … an unprecedented season in Blue Dragon women’s basketball history. Hutchinson had an undefeated Jayhawk West championship, a Region VI crown and the best finish in team history, finishing as the 2012 NJCAA national runner-up. Ontjes took the 2011-12 Blue Dragons to new heights. After an undefeated non-conference season, the Dragons ran the table in the Jayhawk West, going 16-0 to win the league for the second-straight season. HutchCC defeated No. 20 Independence 43-41 in the Region VI championship game and then defeated Meridian, No. 10 Walters State and No. 3 Central Arizona to earn a spot in its first national championship game, winning a team-record 36th-straight game. No. 1 Trinity Valley defeated Hutchinson 69-55 in a battle of undefeated teams. Hutch was ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA national poll for most of the season.
In addition to the postseason awards won by Ontjes, Patterson and Patrick, Chelsea Small and Alysse Barlow were named all-conference team and all-Region. The Lady Dragons also set the team scoring record at 77.4 points per game and was eighth in the nation in team defense at 50.8 points per game.
Winners of a third-straight Jayhawk West title in 2012-13, the Blue Dragons went 36-2 en route to a second-straight Region VI title. Victories over No. 25 ASA and No. 5 Northwest Florida State advanced the Blue Dragons into the NJCAA Final Four for the third time under Ontjes. After dropping a semifinal matchup to Central Arizona, Hutch finished third in the nation in 2013 with a thrilling 63-61 victory over No. 2 Gulf Coast State.
Hutchinson made it four-straight conference titles and three-consecutive Region VI crowns in 2013-14 with an undefeated regular season. The only loss in a 35-1 mark came in a 65-46 loss in the national title game to No. 1 Trinity Valley. Jamie Patrick, who became the program’s career scoring leader, was a second-team All-American and Kalani Purcell was an honorable mention All-American. Purcell was also the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year.
Ontjes is one of the most recognizable Blue Dragons in school history.
An all-state athlete at Nickerson High School, Ontjes played for Blue Dragon coach Steve McClain in 1992 and 1993. As a Blue Dragon, Ontjes’ teams were a combined 56-12. He ranks No. 1 in career assists (396) and No. 2 in career steals (145). He also ranks first in single-season assists (230).
In 2005, Ontjes was voted by the fans onto the 75th Anniversary all-time Blue Dragon men’s basketball team.
Ontjes took over the HutchCC women’s basketball program after a successful two-year run as head girls’ basketball coach at Hutchinson High School. In just two seasons, he took a Salthawk girls program with very little varsity experience at the beginning and quickly molded it into a state tournament contender.
Hutch High went 10-11 in Ontjes’ first season in 2005 using mainly underclassmen. In 2006, the Salthawks qualified for the Class 5A state tournament, finishing third with a 19-6 record.
While playing at OU, Ontjes was named the Big Eight Newcomer of the Year after the 1994 season. He led OU averaging 6.5 assists per game, seventh on OU's single-season assist list. As a senior, Ontjes averaged 6.8 assists per game, which was fifth on the OU single-season assist list. He was named All-Big Eight honorable mention and to the Big Eight All-Underrated team.
Before becoming the HHS girls head coach, Ontjes served for five seasons on Phil Anderson’s Hutchinson High boys’ basketball staff, both as the freshman head coach and varsity assistant. Hutch High won the Class 6A state championship in 2001 and was the 6A state runner-up in 2002.
After completing his eligibility at Oklahoma, Ontjes served as a graduate assistant for head coach Kelvin Sampson in 1995 and 1996. His main duties were practice organization, monitoring academic progress, film exchange and on-campus recruiting.
From 1997 to 1999, Ontjes was an assistant varsity football and basketball coach at Nickerson School. In 1999 he took a teaching position and joined Anderson’s staff at Hutchinson High.
Ontjes earned his Associate of Arts degree from Hutchinson Community College in 1993 and his Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from the University of Oklahoma in 1996. He earned his Kansas Education certificate from Sterling College in 1999.
Ontjes and his wife, Celeste, have two children: Max and McKenzie.