NCAA Umpire Tim Cordill building umpires for the future

One of the perils of umpiring for Tim Cordill and all others in his profession is listening to complaints and arguments from managers, coaches and players.

Washington and KCKCC grad works NCAA tournament, holds umpire clinics

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Tim Cordill is again on the elite list of umpires selected to work collegiate baseball at its highest level – the NCAA Division I regional tournament.

It is not, however, at the top of his bucket list. Getting young umpires to that level is goal No. 1.

A graduate of Washington High School and Kansas City Kansas Community College, Cordill and Jon Browar hold an umpires clinic for budding young umpires each fall to help fill a rapidly growing need for umpires.

The clinic held at KCKCC, the T-Bones Stadium and Johnson County 3&2, draws 50-60 participants from all over the country.

“Basically, we try to put 20 guys into umpiring at the college level each year,” Cordill said. “We feel we’re giving back. So many people worked and shared with me to make me successful, it’s our responsibility to help others as much as we can. I’ve been umpiring for more than 30 years and I talk to kids as young as 12 years of age about umpiring. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone; that’s for sure.”

Cordill actually started umpiring at age 12.

“My coach in Little League ran the umpires,” said Cordill, who will be umpiring in the four-team Oregon State NCAA regional in Corvallis starting Friday. “I’m excited and happy to go; that’s for sure.”

A year ago, he worked the Texas Tech regional in Lubbock. One of 16 regionals, the winners will advance to a super-regional to trim the field to eight teams for the NCAA World Series in Omaha.

A 1992 graduate of Washington High School, Cordill started his collegiate athletic career at Fort Scott Community College “until I found I was a better umpire than I was a football and baseball player.”

Transferring to KCKCC where he earned his AA degree, he spent one year as a student assistant to Blue Devil baseball coach Steve Burleson.

“It was a perfect fit; one of the best things I ever did because I got to understand things from both sides,” Cordill said. “In addition to understanding the game more, I got a deeper appreciation of it. Also, Coach Burleson and I both umpired in the men’s leagues and I learned from watching him.”

Cordill still maintains a close tie with the KCKCC baseball program. Head Blue Devil coach Matt Goldbeck is the godfather and his wife, Diana, is the godmother of the Cordill’s 9-year-old daughter, Harper.

Cordill went to umpire school in 1998 and worked two seasons in the minor leagues before a better offer came along.

“It was right before spring training in 2000,” he remembered. “I was scheduled to go to the Chicago Cubs minor league training camp and I got a chance to take a teaching job at Washington.” A graduate of Park University with a degree in teaching, Cordill taught at Washington for five years along with serving two years as baseball coach. “I still say teaching was the greatest job I ever had.”

Married and starting a family, he left teaching in 2005 to Coca-Cola for nearly eight years. He also worked five years as Kansas City sales manager for Schwans Consumer Brands and now is in his second year with a consulting firm.

While the new job took him away from his love of teaching, it opened the doors to a return to umpiring at the collegiate level.

“From February to June, I’m working college games about every weekend,” Cordill said. While it takes some time away from his wife, Robin, and family (three daughters in the Piper school system aged 14, 12 and 9, and a 4-year-old son), it beats umpiring professionally and being on the road six months of the year.

“You talk to players and they can’t tell you scores or remember games but they can tell you about the guys they played with and the relationships they were able to build and that’s what it’s all about,” Cordill said. “Sure, it supplements an income but I made some lifelong friends and mentors and been treated so well it’s so gratifying. Professionally you work with the same crew the entire season but in college you’re always working with different guys. You might work with 40-50 guys and the relationships you build, it’s just great.”

During his days umpiring in the minor leagues, KCK native Tim Cordill, left, worked with two umpires now in the major leagues, Todd Tichenor, center, of Holcomb, Kansas, and Adrian Johnson of Houston.

KCKCC golfers make final cut, place 14th in national

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

One of 15 teams to make an unexpected cut in the 2018 NJCAA Division II national golf tournament, Kansas City Kansas Community College moved up to finish in 14th place.

The tournament played at GlenLakes Golf Club in Foley, Alabama, was marred by bad weather each of the final three days and came at the worst times for KCKCC. On both Tuesday and Wednesday, the tournament had lengthy delays as the Blue Devils were three holes from finishing.

After a fast start on Wednesday, the Blue Devils slipped to 15th place before surging past Grand Rapids into 14th Thursday.

“We were only two over after the front nine Wednesday only to have the last three holes get us again,,” said KCKCC coach Gary Shrader, whose Blue Devils lost 21 strokes to par on the back nine and finished with a 311 total. “We had the same problem two days in a row. We had to go back out and just didn’t have it.” The Blue Devils had a 310 finishing round Thursday.

The third round Wednesday was stopped twice because of rain and lightning and almost missed completion.

“They finished in the dark with car lights on the last hole,” Shrader said. “They had two groups to finish so volunteers pulled up their cars and they played the last hole with car lights.”

With more rain forecast for Thursday’s final round, the tournament field was cut in half with the top 15 teams finishing four rounds, the rest of the field heading home. It proved to be the right move. Thursday’s round had a two-hour early afternoon delay because of lightning and rain.

Two Blue Devils, sophomores Micah Morris and Bobby Armstrong, tied for 55th place with 18-over par 306 totals. Morris had rounds of 71, 77, 75 and 83; Armstrong 74, 77, 79 and 76. Freshman Evin Wheaton tied for 76th with a 75-84-78-79-316; frosh Zach Miller was 82nd (85-84-83-77-321) and sophomore Trevor Bauer 88th (85-77-85-82-329).

“We didn’t play as well as we’re capable,” Shrader said. “We got out of contention and I think we started to try to take chances and make birdies and it didn’t work.”

The one team Thursday’s two-hour delay didn’t bother was Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, which shot a spectacular 9-under par final round and claim the Bulldogs first ever team championship. The 279 enabled Mississippi Gulf Coast to finish at 2-under par and one shot ahead of conference rival Meridian Community College. Parkland finished third at 1-over and South Mountain fourth at 2-over.
South Mountain‘s Leon D’Souza shot a final round 3-under par 69 to finish 8-under for the tournament and a shot ahead of teammate Jeffrey Miller.


21st annual Jack West Scholarship Scramble set Saturday, June 9

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Registration is now underway for the 21st Annual Jack West Memorial Scholarship Scramble to be held at Dud’s Dread Golf Club Saturday, June 9.

A four-person scramble, all proceeds will go to the Jack West Foundation which assists students in need of financial aid to continue their educations. A soccer and tennis player at Kansas City Kansas Community College, West was shot and killed while returning home June 11, 1997.

The cost to enter is $400 per team or $100 per individual. Golfers without teams will be assigned to teams as needed. The fee covers green fees, cart, on course refreshments and a post-tournament dinner and sports and gift auction at Dub’s Dread.

Entries including name, home and email addresses and phone numbers for each team member should be mailed to Dan Pratt in care of the Jack West Foundation, 16561 Meadowlark Lane, Basehor, KS., 66007. Those with questions and who want registration information may call 816-590-5739.

Sponsorships are also available. They include major sponsorship, $1,000; corporate, $500; beverage, $200; individual holes, $100; and cart sponsor, $50.