LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The NFCA is pleased to announce Eli Miera as the 2023 recipient of the Association’s Diversity Scholarship. Miera, a 13-year youth coaching veteran, is the new head coach at Valencia High School (N.M.).
The Diversity Scholarship is awarded to a minority member coach who shows a commitment to working with minorities, growing the game of fastpitch in their community and has a need for financial assistance to attend the Convention.
Recipients receive funding to attend the 2023 NFCA National Convention, Dec. 6-9 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, where they can fill their softball bucket by attending numerous educational sessions, business meetings and social events, perusing the Exhibit Show and networking with fellow Convention attendees.
Miera, who also is a teacher at a private school, was hired at Valencia this month after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach at West Mesa High School, where he worked for three different head coaches in his three years. During that time, Miera hosted a training camp for the middle school in his district to make a connection with potential players and parents to show them that there was a coach who cared and was sticking around in hopes they would attend WMHS, which is in a town with a big socioeconomic divide.
“I think it is important to have players be proud of where they are from,” said Miera. “I can say the training camps helped us (West Mesa) keep a handful of players from transferring to other high schools. The new head coach (Miera’s brother-in-law) is ready to continue my work and turn the program around.”
Miera’s new school (Valencia) has some very similar dynamics and he is excited to build a program at a school where almost 80 percent of the school’s population are minorities with more than half of them economically disadvantaged. He states that in this rural community athletics may be the only chance these students have to get into college and break the cycle of poverty.
Additionally, Miera, a resident of Bosque Farms, is a Yucca Little League board member. He began coaching when his oldest son started playing Little League and now is a coach for his youngest son’s team. He dove into coaching softball when his daughter started playing in high school.
As a member of the board, Miera assists families who can’t afford to play baseball or softball. Through the T-Mobile call up grants, Yucca Little League has helped over 100 families who wouldn’t have had a chance to participate.
With the opportunity to attend the 2023 Convention, Miera cites that this event is a goldmine of knowledge and resources for softball coaches which he can directly translate into more effective coaching techniques, and in turn, lead to the growth and success of his softball program.
Miera will be recognized on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the Convention’s annual mentoring workshop.
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its extensive awards and scholarships program, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from NFCA podcasts to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and a National Convention.