Coach Dale Nelson brings 27 years of experience coaching high school baseball to the Diamond Devils. He began his coaching career at his alma mater Laurens High School as the varsity pitching coach in 1995. He took over as the head coach in 2006 and led the Raiders to 5 region championships and 10 consecutive playoff appearances. He served as an assistant at JL Mann High School in 2017 and 2018 and helped the Patriots win the region 1 AAAA championship as well as two appearances in the AAAAA playoffs. Coach Nelson became the head coach at nearby Hillcrest High School in 2019 and promptly led them to a 20-9 season and a trip to the AAAAA district finals. After an 8-1 start in 2020, the season wascut short due to Covid-19. In 2021 the Rams finished 24-8, captured the Region 1- AAAAA championship, the AAAAA upper-state championship, and the AAAAA state championship. This was the first state championship in baseball in the 64-year history of the school. For his team’s efforts he was named the SCBCA AAAAA coach of the year, SCACA baseball coach of the year, and the NFHS state baseball coach of the year.
During his coaching career, Coach Nelson has coached over 100 players who have gone on to play college baseball. Several have gone on to play at the professional level. He has coached two players, Thomas Jones in 2016 and Trotter Harlan in 2019, who were named the SC Gatorade Player of the Year. These two were also standout players with the Diamond Devils.
Coach Nelson has coached several levels with the Diamond Devils. He began in 2017 as the head coach of the 14u team. He served as the head coach of the 15u black team in 2018 and has been an assistant with 17u black team since 2019.
Coach Nelson played collegiately at USC-Upstate and graduated from Clemson University. He received his master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy. He has been married to his wife Tamara for 22 years. He has a daughter Addison who is 14 years old and plays varsity volleyball at Hillcrest. His son Peyton, who is 19, played four years with the Diamond Devils and is a freshman pitcher at the College of Charleston.