Most athletes and coaches get into sport for the love of the game.
Now, that love has led Durham College Women’s Softball head coach to celebrate a couple of milestones this season.
For Jim Nemish, who has been at the helm of the Durham College Lords since the late 1980’s, the longevity outweighs the wins.
“From August 25 to the end of October it’s go, go, go,” said Nemish, Durham Lords head coach.
This season he’s celebrating a couple of milestones — 30 years as the Lords’ head coach and, earlier this month, his 500th win.
“The 500 win game, we didn’t even know,” said Caleigh Coels, Lords outfielder. “Then there was an announcement at the end of the game and we’re all sitting there like, ‘What?’ He’s walking up to the front and we’re like congrats, thanks for letting us know.”
The Oshawa native seems to always deliver, whether it’s at his full-time job at Canada Post or at the diamond. But Nemish isn’t necessarily keeping track of his personal stats.
“I think the longevity of being able to be here this long and be successful, wins and losses it’s only a number to me. I’m most happy at the end of the year if we win the medal and the girls are out there celebrating,” said Nemish. “Then I know I’ve done my job.”
Looking around Durham College field, it doesn’t take long to see the impact Nemish has had on the program. He’s led the Lords to 16 of their 18 championships. He has 509 wins and 166 losses — a 75 per cent winning percentage. And he has the streak: a four-year run where the team went undefeated for 56 games.
“We had a core group back then that knew how to win,” said Nemish. “They hated to lose. Seeing them win game in and game out and when the streak started, they said nobody’s going to beat us.”
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His dedication over the years to the game and the team hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“When we first came in, he said, ‘Honestly, all I look forward to is you guys running on the field for OCAA’s, winning gold,’ and that really stuck to me because it just goes to show that he’s literally here for us,” said Ashley Black, Lords’ pitcher and first base.
“He loves the game you can tell and he’s very committed. It’s his life. We’re his life,” said Coels.
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While he’s accomplished what most coaches can only dream of, Nemish continues just taking it one season at a time.
“When it stops being fun, then it will be time to get out,” said Nemish.
Until then, the love of the game and his players will keep him going.