Aukai Kaai - Assistant Coach

Aukai Kaai
Roughstock Coach

Phone: 808-294-9485

Aukai Kaai is entering his second year as roughstock coach for the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team.

Kaai is originally from Waimānalo, Hawaii. The four-time National High School Finals Rodeo qualifier and three-time state champion was recruited by former MPCC Rodeo Team Coach Dustin Elliott to ride bulls for Mid-Plains.

Kaai subsequently competed for MPCC from 2014-16 in both the bull riding and team roping events. During that time, he finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Great Plains Region bull riding standings.

Kaai graduated from MPCC with an Associate of Science degree in 2016 then continued his education and collegiate rodeo career at Colorado State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business.

He returned to North Platte in 2018 and became the assistant coach for the MPCC Rodeo Team in the summer of 2020. He began working primarily with the team’s roughstock competitors at that point, taking over for Elliott, and by the fall of 2021 had completely assumed the role of the team’s roughstock coach. 

Kaai has carried a pro car with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since 2014, but for the past couple of years, competing has taken a backseat to his focus on buying bucking bulls and supplying them to area rodeos.

Keeley Vaughan

Keeley Vaughan
Timed Events Coach

Phone: 541-891-7996

Keeley Vaughan has been named as the new timed events rodeo coach for the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team.

She began serving as interim timed events rodeo coach in September and moved into the permanent role Jan. 2.

Vaughan is originally from Klamath Falls, Ore. She won her first leadline class in a horse show at age 2.

Because her family’s farm is on the Oregon and California border, Vaughan high school rodeoed in California. She qualified for state all four years in barrel racing, goat tying and girls cutting and competed at the Silver State International Rodeo, which is open to National High School Rodeo Association members who place fifth through 25th at their state finals.

Following her graduation from Henley High School, in Klamath Falls, in 2015, Vaughan continued her rodeo career at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore.

She started out studying sports medicine at Treasure Valley, but because of low enrollment, the program was canceled. Vaughan was already on the rodeo team, so she stayed but changed her major to equine production.

She qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in barrel racing in 2016 and earned an associate degree a year later.

Vaughan subsequently returned home and took a job training rope horses for Bill Hill Quarter Horses. She also stepped up her game in the rodeo arena, buying a Women’s Professional Rodeo Association card and qualifying in breakaway roping for the WPRA World Finals in Waco, Texas in 2018.

Vaughan made her way to the Midwest four years ago where she continues to compete at amateur rodeos and local jackpots. She has spent the past couple of years working for H. J. Farms and Ranches in McCook.