Coach Jason Nell, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin River Falls majoring in Park and Land Management along with a Coaching Minor. He also completed his M.A. degree in Sports Administration from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.
While at different colleges, Jason has served as the pitching coach, infield and outfield coach, hitting instructor and worked on behalf of recruiting and running camps. He played college baseball at the University of Wisconsin River Falls for 4 years where he was one of few people who played as an infielder, outfielder, and pitcher for the Falcons.
Before arriving at Iowa Lakes, Jason was the assistant at UWRF for two seasons. Following a summer out in New York as a baseball coordinator at a private sports camp, Nell returned to Loras College as an assistant for three years. He has also been the head baseball coach at Somerset High School in Somerset, Wisconsin, for one year as well as the head coach for the American Legion Team for two years in Estherville, Iowa.
Since coming to Iowa Lakes, Coach Nell and the Lakers have achieved several accomplishments:
- 2 30-win seasons
- 5 All-Americans
- 7 Academic All-Americans
- 31 All Region players
- 52 players continuing their career at NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA programs
- ranked as high as 6th nationally in 2006
- two players play on the 2003 USA National Baseball Team in Prague, Czech Republic
While at Iowa Lakes, Coach Nell’s team have rewritten the Iowa Lakes record books both offensively and defensively.
Outside of Iowa Lakes Jason has coached in the Northwoods League – regarded as one of the best summer collegiate leagues in the nation. Some of his accomplishments are:
- 4 years with Mankato Moondogs (1 as assistant, 3 as field manager)
- 2008 led the Moondogs to its first ever playoffs
- set single season win record at 41
- left Mankato as all-time wins leader as manager
- in 2011 named All-Decade team for Mankato as manager
- 2008 named field manager for the North Division in the NWL All-Star Game
- 2008 Field Manager of the Year
- field manager for the Waterloo Buck of the Northwoods League in 2010, 2011
- 8th All-Time in wins for a manager in Northwoods League history
- coached 49 players taken in the MLB draft
At Iowa Lakes, Jason is also an instructor and works in the Success Center assisting students with a variety of needs. In his free time, Jason enjoys bow hunting, muzzleloading, and pheasant hunting along with spending time with his girls. Jason currently resides in Estherville with his wife Lisa, and his daughters Gracie and Chloe.
Juan Carlos Calderon
Juan Carlos Calderon is entering his third season as a graduate assistant coach at Iowa Lakes Community College.
Coach Calderon began his college playing career at Western Texas College as an Infielder. Calderon Later transferred to Oakland City University to finish his playing career.
The Caracas, Venezuela, native is a 2010 graduate of Oakland City (Ind.) University with a degree in Business and Sports Administration. He played for the Mighty Oaks as a first baseman. Over his final two seasons at Oakland City, Calderon batted a .345 with four home runs, 42 RBI and 68 hits. He led the team as a senior with a .540 on-base percentage, and also was named team captain.
Coach Calderon spent this past summer in New York as an assistant coach for the Amsterdam Mohawks at the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, he is pursuing his master’s degree through Iowa State University.
Craig Fandel is entering his third season as a graduate assistant for the Iowa Lakes baseball team. Craig is a graduate of Estherville Lincoln Central High School. He attended and played baseball at Iowa Lakes under Coach Nell where he pitched and played in the infield. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, with a degree in Kinesiology. At UT Tyler as a pitcher, Craig was a part of the Patriots two ASC championships and Regionals qualifying teams.
Along with coaching, Craig is pursuing his master’s degree through Iowa State University.