Matt Neuhold, New Rec Department Coordinator


Correction: Matt Neuhold is the new Rec Department Coordinator, not the Director.

Matt Neuhold is no stranger to the area, having graduated from McClave High School in 2002, and spending a year at Lamar Community College. He also attended Adams State College for two and a half years as a physical education major. Before graduation, however, he decided to attend professional umpire’s school and did well enough to qualify for an evaluation course for professional baseball and was hired out to umpire the minor leagues for five years, travelling around the country.

As far as making a move into the major leagues, Neuhold replied, “It’s something people don’t really understand, but its baseball’s narrowest door. There are only 68 major league umpires. It’s probably easier in number to become a pitcher as most teams have 15 on their roster, than it is to umpire those games.” He added that candidates selected to the majors have less than a 1% chance of being hired.

Neuhold said umpires are evaluated three times a year if they have a desire to move up through the ranks. He explained that the minor leagues work with two umpires a game and the majors work with three. “You’re always in rotation,” he said, “so there’s never one person making calls behind home plate all the time. Everyone gets rotated.”

Now that he’s done traveling, Neuhold says he’s settling in to the Recreation Coordinator position, having been hired less than two weeks ago. Right now, he’s reviewing how everything works at the Lamar Community Building and following the World Series games, will be busy developing all the schedules for the approaching fall season. “It’s going to be the busiest time of the year for us,” he said, looking at his desk which was covered in schedules for ten leagues.

He retired from baseball last year and wanted to find something where he could be involved in sports in the community. He said he was ecstatic when he learned about the opening in the department and got the go ahead for the position. Regarding some future goals, he said he’d like to see the summer baseball programs come under the direction of the Recreation Department. Neuhold believes that would curtail the turnover of those running the program, who stay involved with the programs while their children are participating, and gravitate out of the program as the kids grow older. He said that would develop into a more stable situation with Parks and Rec handling events. He’d also like to expand the new soccer programs in town, developing a hand in hand relationship with Lamar Community College athletes who are starting their new league this year and with other athletic departments at the college. Perhaps begin a form of mentoring program where the younger athletes of the community have an opportunity to train with the older, more experienced players and learn from them. He added he’d like to see a competitive environment for boys and girls where they could learn the fundamentals of the game, soccer and basketball.

By Russ Baldwin




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