Legendary Lords softball coach Jim Nemish is calling it a career after 31 seasons.
Nemish, with 550 career wins on his resume, has been the driving force behind the most successful collegiate softball program in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) history.
The Durham Lords softball program currently holds the record for most provincial championships of any sport program in the OCAA with 20 banners, 17 of which came under the leadership of Nemish.
In total, DC softball earned a provincial medal in all but three of his 31 years, including 16 consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2012. During this stretch Nemish was twice named OCAA coach of the year in 2000 and 2005.
“What can I say about Coach Nemish other than he truly is the face of DC women’s softball,” says Durham College Athletic Director Ken Babcock. “For over three decades he was the architect of the most successful collegiate softball program in North America. So much success and so many team accomplishments, while wanting such little personal fanfare in return. We will certainly miss Coach Nemish, who is a true legend in the OCAA.”
The greatest achievement of the Durham program with Nemish as head coach came from 2002 to 2006. Across the OCAA this period of time is most commonly known as “The Streak.”
A force to be reckoned with over that four season period, the Durham Lords softball team earned three consecutive OCAA championships and a silver medal, while also winning 56 consecutive games, a record that will most likely never be broken.
Not to be overlooked, later in his career Nemish also led the first four-peat in OCAA women’s softball history, capturing four consecutive provincial banners between 2015 and 2019. In addition, his DC teams enjoyed success at the national level as well.
A Durham College graduate himself, Nemish is the winningest coach in OCAA women’s softball history, finishing his career with a 341-65 conference record (.840 winning percentage) and 550-182 overall record.
“Coach Nemish had the vision to deliver an NCAA calibre program right here in the Durham Region,” says long time Varsity Sport
Coordinator Michael Duggan. “DC softball was the level that the rest of the OCAA aspired to reach. Coach Nemish will be missed and we wish him all the best in his next chapter.”
Leaving behind a legacy, including five athletes and his four “The Streak” teams already inducted into the Durham College Sport Hall of Fame, Nemish has achieved successes and records in the OCAA that will be extremely difficult to match in the future.