D.J. Whittemore reluctantly accepts individual awards. As the head coach of the WNC baseball team, he emphasizes team accomplishments over personal feats.
But the Reno-Tahoe Young Professional Network and RGJ Media chose not to overlook Whittemore’s contributions to the Wildcats baseball program, which has been highly successful on the field and in the classroom.
The ninth-year WNC coach has been selected a ‘Twenty Under 40’ winner and will be honored during at a ceremony on November 14 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno.
“I recently looked over the list of past award winners and I am honored to be mentioned within this group of individuals,” Whittemore said. “I am excited to join their organization and represent Western Nevada College as well as I possibly can. “I don't really believe in individual awards because it doesn't tell the whole story. My wife deserves much of the credit for allowing me to pursue my career which I am very passionate about.”
Whittemore has a career record of 345 wins, 144 losses and two ties during his eight seasons directing the program. Last season, Whittemore and his coaching staff took a young WNC club and developed it into a national title contender by season’s end. The Wildcats finished one victory shy of advancing to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series for a fourth time.
Most important, Whittemore’s teams have earned NJCAA All-Academic Team honors in seven of his eight seasons.
His clubs have won three region titles, three Scenic West Conference championships and three Western District titles. To date, 97 of his former players have continued playing baseball either professionally or at four-year schools.
Rather than take credit for his program’s successes, Whittemore prefers to say that the feats are shared endeavors.
“The community of Western Nevada College, from the athletic development committee to the grounds crew, and to the faculty, the staff and administration who have been awesome in their support of our baseball program and given us everything we need to be successful, for that, we (the WNC baseball program) are eternally grateful,” Whittemore said. “I would also like to publicly thank all of my assistant coaches over the last nine years and specifically recognize Aaron Demosthenes for his friendship, loyalty, work ethic and knowledge base. Without him, WNC baseball would be nowhere near the program it is today.
“I also want to thank my entire extended family for their love and support, especially my parents, who have encouraged me in many ways to follow my dreams.”’
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