Substitute teacher and professional umpire: alumnus Trevor Dannegger’s journey from education to officiating baseball games


Courtesy of Trevor Dannegger

Putting his arms up to strike the batter out, alumnus Trevor Dannegger makes the call behind home plate. Dannegger started officiating minor league baseball games in 2016, along with being a substitute teacher in his time off. “I try to stand out in both roles,” Dannegger said. “Whether it be asking a teacher to continue their lesson instead of showing a video or going out of my way to help players on the field.”

Spending the long hot summer days calling balls and strikes on the baseball field, and working with students in the classroom during the winter, alumnus Trevor Dannegger works to fulfill his dreams on and off the field.

Starting from a young age, Dannegger found his passion was for officiating baseball games rather than playing in them.

“I started umpiring local games when I was ten years old,” Dannegger said. “I always found myself appreciating the officiating side more than the actual playing side, so I decided to quit playing and pursue umpiring from there.”

After Dannegger graduated from West in 2014 he attended community college. After a year, he discovered his interest in education while in his off time continued to officiate baseball games.

“I went to community college before really getting into umpiring. The flexibility of being a substitute teacher along with my passion for working with kids made it a great fit for me,” Dannegar said.

Continuing with his commitment to baseball, Dannegger began to work at minor league games, soon finding out that the skills he has on the field can also apply to the classroom.

“Having patience yet being serious really applies to both roles,” Dannegger said. “From interacting with players and students when they misbehave or do[ing] something well has taught me [that] you have to instruct them in a way that most benefits them. I’d rather teach a lesson than show a movie to a student, or explain a call to a player rather than just saying they’re out.”

Dannegger feels the lessons he learned through officiating baseball and teaching help motivate him to be successful in his everyday life.

“Last year, I got promoted to AA halfway through the season which was a really great experience,” Dannegger said. “To work at a higher level of baseball and to see myself constantly improving is rewarding, the game has taught me to stay humble and always work hard while finding an excuse to push yourself to the next level.”