LAFAYETTE -- Baseball has taken Tory Hernandez all over the world.
The latest stop for the 36-year-old? The Bentley School in Lafayette.
After working in Major League Baseball since his college years, Hernandez decided recently to take a different path.
"I really started to miss working hands on with younger players," Hernandez said.
Now, instead of searching for MLB prospects across the world, Hernandez is spending his afternoons as Bentley's new varsity baseball coach.
Inheriting a team with six returning senior starters, Hernandez guided the Phoenix to a 13-0 start to the season before losing its Bay Counties League-East opener to Redwood Christian 3-2 on April 22.
"This is big for me, and when I look back on my career, this is one of the coolest things I've done," Hernandez said. "I really want to build a powerhouse as big as you can at the Division V level."
That's saying something, because Hernandez has done some pretty interesting things over the last decade.
He scouted for the Los Angeles Angels before eventually becoming a part of the team's front office, working his way up to manager of baseball operations.
In 2011, when Tony Reagins resigned as the Angels' general manager, Hernandez even interviewed to be his replacement.
"I was still pretty young and green," Hernandez said. "I wasn't ready. It was more of a token interview."
When the Angels' new GM was hired, he brought in his own guys, leaving Hernandez without a place in the organization.
He then hooked on with Scott Boras and ran the super agent's scouting department for two years. But the lifestyle was still exhausting.
"I got burned out from the whole thing," Hernandez said.
Last May, he and his wife moved back to the Bay Area, where they both have roots. Initially, Hernandez planned to just help out with a local team. But upon learning the Bentley job was open, he decided to apply.
The first season has been full of wins.
"I think these guys are starting to realize how good they are," said Hernandez, who compares his own coaching philosophy and style to that of the Tampa Bay Rays' laid-back manager Joe Maddon. "There's a lot of motivation and confidence now."
But Bentley's biggest tests are still ahead of them. The BCL-East is full of strong small school teams and the league has produced the North Coast Section Division V champion each of the last five years.
Still, what the Phoenix has done in the first two months of the season is impressive for a program that went 4-12 overall and 0-10 in league play just two seasons ago.
Hernandez has even bigger goals, though.
"13-1 is great, but I still look at a program that is miles and years behind where we need to get to," Hernandez said.