James Eardley spent thirty plus years in education in the state of Nevada. An ex-professional baseball player, Eardley began his career as a teacher and baseball coach at Carlin High School, and taught for ten-plus years in both public schools and at the University of Nevada, Reno. He went on to become Dean of Community Services for the Nevada Community College Division, then Executive Dean, and Executive Vice President. Finally, Eardley was officially named First President of Truckee Meadows Community College following the split of Western Nevada Community College in 1979.
"The presidency does not seem like a challenge to me. I was here when the community colleges were first started in Nevada. I view the presidency as the last stages of a project I began in 1964. I'm not concerned with the pressures, usually, since pressures are built in anyway" . - Jim Eardley, 1980