INDIANAPOLIS — Dave Yeast, the NCAA national coordinator of baseball umpires since 1996, has resigned his position with the Association, effective immediately. Yeast has decided to pursue other interests, which includes a return to umpiring.
“I am honored and humbled to have served the NCAA and college baseball for eleven years and appreciate the opportunity to grow our officiating program,” Yeast said. “I look forward to its continued growth and will work to assure a smooth transition to the new national coordinator. More than anything I am proud to have helped umpires across the country reach their goals and improve the level of officiating in college baseball.”
Prior to being named NCAA national coordinator of baseball, Yeast worked two NCAA Men’s College World Series tournaments and the baseball competitions at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta as an umpire. In 1999, he was named International Baseball Federation “Umpire of the Year.” He helped the NCAA enhance its championship, overseeing the expansion from 48 to 96 officials when the College World Series grew from 48 to 64 teams in 1999. He was also instrumental in providing opportunities for first-time umpires to work the NCAA baseball championships, recommending 49 umpires work the Men’s College World Series and 149 umpires work the NCAA Regional round of the championship over the course of 11 years.
Yeast also helped the NCAA enhance its programs for officials in various sports. He assisted with implementing the NCAA’s first rules testing program for sports officials and the first in-season officiating video bulletins. He was a key figure in implementing the NCAA’s officiating development camps and the NCAA’s first preseason guide for both coaches and officials.
“On behalf of the NCAA Division I baseball community, I wish Dave well in his return to umpiring and thank him for his dedication to improving college baseball,” said Larry Templeton, athletics director at Mississippi State University and chair of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.
Dennis Poppe, NCAA managing director for baseball and football, echoed Templeton’s sentiments. “For over a decade, Dave has provided outstanding leadership in umpiring – always striving to improve the education and development of college baseball umpires for the betterment of college baseball and helping ensure the college baseball championship has the benefit of the best umpires working the games,” said Poppe.
The NCAA Baseball Committee will soon begin the process of hiring Yeast’s successor. It is anticipated that this individual will be identified prior to the conclusion of the 2008 Division I Baseball Championship. Yeast will continue to support the NCAA’s umpire coordination needs as a consultant through the remainder of the 2008 baseball season.