Head Baseball Coach
At each and every stop along Mark Hernandez’s collegiate baseball coaching odyssey, scholastic success, accountability and a winning culture have always been the foundation of his philosophy as both a mentor and educator.
Hernandez will bring those same beliefs and values with him as he enters his inaugural campaign at the helm of the Prairie State College baseball program in 2015.
A seasoned veteran of junior college baseball, Hernandez comes to PSC after spending parts of the last 20 seasons as the top assistant on legendary Waubonsee Community College head coach Dave Randall’s staff.
At Waubonsee, Hernandez was instrumental in the Chiefs attaining monumental levels of success. During his time in Sugar Grove, Waubonsee went to the NJCAA Division III World Series four times, the latest resulting in a fourth-place finish at this season’s tournament.
Waubonsee has also won four Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference titles during Hernandez’s various tours of duty. The Chiefs’ 2014 club recorded a program-best 39 wins.
“I am forever grateful to have my mentor, Dave Randall, in my life,” Hernandez said. “Coach Randall is a distinguished NJCAA administrator and recently retired 37-year head baseball coach at Waubonsee. Coach Randall is a consummate professional, pillar in the community, and respected hall of fame coach.
“I was privileged to have the opportunity to witness how a championship program is managed both on and off the field.”
In addition to his work at Waubonsee, Hernandez has also held down assistant coaching positions at two of his alma maters , serving as an assistant on the staff of the now-defunct program at Northeastern Illinois University (1990-91) as well as Elgin Community College (1992).
Hernandez also served as the head coach at Harper College in 2007 and as the pitching and third base coach for the Rockford Foresters of the Midwest Collegiate League in 2010-11.
Hernandez has built a strong reputation as a one-on-one instructor as well, working as the director and owner of SSTC Baseball Training in St. Charles since 2001. He also owns and operates Skull Sessions Training Club, a sport specific baseball training academy, geared toward youth through high school aged players.
Overwhelming success as a player hasn’t escaped Hernandez either. A native of Moline, Hernandez moved to Marshalltown, Iowa as a youngster and eventually went on to help Marshalltown High School claim the 1985 Iowa Class 4A state championship. A standout first baseman and pitcher for Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Brad Clement, Hernandez played his senior year at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles, Illinois.
While with the Saints, Hernandez found his name atop the Chicago Sun-Time’s list of top first baseman and was a unanimous All-Upstate Eight selection.
Slowed, but most certainly not stopped, by a myriad of injuries early in his collegiate career, Hernandez persevered, leaving NJCAA powerhouse Triton College to continue his playing days at Elgin Community College.
As a Spartan, the left-handed hitting Hernandez swung his way to a .507 batting average as one of the nation’s top hitters. He also locked down the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference batting title with a .477 average in league contests.
In the wake of his outstanding achievements at Elgin, Hernandez then moved on to the NCAA Division I level, accepting both an academic and athletic scholarship to Northeastern Illinois. Hernandez graduated from Northeastern with a bachelor’s degree in fitness and wellness. He then went on to attain a master’s degree in business administration from Olivet Nazarene University.
Hernandez also has an extensive background in tech sales, working for various companies in that industry as both a sales representative and territory manager.
“I am thrilled to welcome Mark as PSC’s new head baseball coach,” PSC Director of Athletics Jacqueline Hoak said. “We have traditionally had a strong program here at PSC and I am looking forward to continuing that. From day one, Mark has been committed to bettering the PSC program and it is evident through his leadership skills. Mark has years of experience coaching at the NJCAA level and with his knowledge, discipline and work ethic, I am confident he will bring our program to the next level. I am truly excited to see what the future has in store for him and the team.”
Assistant Baseball Coach
Volunteer Assistant Baseball Coach