El Camino Head Baseball Coach/Professor Named Health Educator of the Year
El Camino College head baseball coach and physical education professor Nate Fernley was recently named Health Educator of the Year by the California Community College Physical Education, Kinesiology, Dance organization, the instructional group within the California Community College Athletics Association.
Fernley’s continual efforts to provide an excellent educational experience for students will be honored at the CCCAA Spring Convention on March 30 in Sacramento. In addition to his work as El Camino’s head baseball coach, Fernley teaches physical education classes, and is a Guided Pathways team leader for the college’s Health Sciences & Athletics Division. He is also active in teaching in ECC’s award-winning First Year Experience program.
This year marks Fernley’s 16th season as head baseball coach for the Warriors. He received two consecutive South Coast Conference Coach of the Year Awards from 2021-2022 and has led the Warriors to the CCCAA State Championships Final Four in two of the last four seasons, including a runner-up finish in 2019. Since 2017, no other CCCAA baseball program has accumulated a better winning percentage than the Warriors (.728). During Fernley’s tenure, the Warriors have boasted a .663 winning percentage, posting a 450-229 record. In that time frame, El Camino accumulated the most wins within the South Coast Conference, both overall and in conference play (238).
In 2007, Coach Fernley’s first year at the helm, the Warriors won their first conference championship in 19 years. The team again became conference champs in 2010, culminating in an appearance at the State Tournament Final Four for the first time since 1951. In 2017, Fernley led the Warriors back to the State Championship Final Four after posting a program-record 25-game winning streak. In 2019, the team had one of the best years in program history, with a state-best 40-9 overall record. The Warriors finished as state runners-up for the second time in program history and first since 1951.
Fernley has coached more than 100 student-athletes who have gone on to four-year programs with several moving on to the professional ranks.
Fernley graduated from BYU with a degree in Spanish, and later earned his master’s in sports science from the United States Sports Academy. As a player, Fernley played two years at Long Beach City College before transferring to BYU. He was named a consensus All-American for the Cougars and led the NCAA with 16 wins. Post-graduation, Fernley signed with the Cleveland Indians (now known as the Guardians) organization, where he played for three years in the Indians and Chicago Cubs minor league systems. Fernley was inducted into the Long Beach City College Hall of Fame in 2013.