FCU began in 1990, and has been proudly serving Florida's collegiate community since its inception. We work with over fifty-five prominent academic institutions, spanning the entire state of Florida. Our schools include NCAA universities, NAIA colleges, and NJCAA universities. Our philosophy is based upon continuous professional development for umpires. Our training system elevates the performance of our officials. We conduct our training sessions with the most qualified instructors, including officials from both Major and Minor League Baseball, as well as top collegiate umpires. In the offseason, members attend training sessions to ensure alignment with current standards. We follow all CCA guidelines for two-man, three-man, and four-man mechanics. FCU is committed to giving members the best opportunities to learn the most current and effective techniques from the finest instructors. You’ll find FCU umpires to be capable, judicious, and impressive. Protecting the integrity of the game is a cornerstone of our FCU foundation. FCU's founding fathers valued dedication, leadership, and commitment to the field of umpiring. Their legacy carries on today through our fine umpires. Learn about the men who made a difference for FCU and inspired their peers while doing so.
Ken was an original umpire for FCU in 1990. His career spanned twenty-nine years. Ken worked several years in pro ball, 1976 in the Gulf Coast League, 1977-78 in the Class A Florida State League and 1979-80 in the Class AA Southern League. When Ken entered the college ranks, he worked the CUSA, Sun Belt, Metro and TAAC Conferences. Some of his umpiring accomplishments included Florida Junior College Regionals, Division 2 Regionals, the CUSA Tournament, and the Senior Professional League.
Ken’s hard work helped establish FCU. His reputation, hustle, and integrity were well known to the coaches and helped FCU grow bigger and better. But Ken was best known for his fierce loyalty to his fellow officials and his courage when the arguments began. When you stepped on the field with Kenny Iannotti, you were completely confident and proud that his crew was in charge. He was also one of the most popular umpires with his peers. He was always ready with a smile and his heart of gold to help anyone.
Tommy Dimasso was an original umpire in FCU in 1990. Tommy suffered from cystic fibrosis, an incurable disease that affects your organs, especially the lungs. Tommy learned to umpire in a class at SFCC taught by Hal Brady, Paul Misleh, and John Magnusson. When FCU was formed, Tommy really wanted to work Junior College baseball. FCU gave him that chance. Tommy stayed at Shands Hospital in Gainesville for extended periods because of his illness. Tommy would get up from bed, unplug his IV shunt, and go work a game at Santa Fe Community College. He then would return to Shands and recuperate. When the pressure of the game would mount, Tommy would simply remark that since he was already supposed to be dead, this was not any pressure at all. Never once did Tommy complain about his assignments; he would simply get the job done.
On August 20, 1992, doctors treating Tommy pronounced he had only hours to live. He was visited by FCU umpires Steve Hawthorne and John Magnusson, but was unresponsive. The next day, Tommy got up from the hospital bed, threw out the first pitch at a Babe Ruth Bambino World Series, and returned to the hospital. He died that day, August 21, 1992. FCU lost the most courageous umpire that ever lived that day.
Peter was one of the founding fathers of FCU. Along with Mike Kiernan and John Magnusson, FCU was started in 1990 to serve several colleges in Florida. When Peter retired from FCU he sold his shares to Dennis McComb. Peter was the computer genius behind FCU. He pioneered using data bases to schedule baseball games for FCU. He also was the first reassignor. Since this was before email, Pete used the telephone to contact all umpires and coaches and keep the schedule straight. Pete dreaded the rainy days in the spring.
Pete was an umpire supervisor for the Sunshine State Conference, worked the CUSA Tournament, JUCO World Series and the Division 2 World Series. Pete’s easy demeanor made umpiring look simple. He had a great ability to calm everyone down in an argument. Pete was so intelligent that he quickly took charge of any situation. When Pete retired from FCU, it was to follow his next love, golf. Pete was an excellent golfer with a single digit handicap. He returned to high school umpiring and was about to make his collegiate comeback when he collapsed at home.
Pete passed away on November 5, 2007. FCU lost a founding father, a mentor, a great umpire and a wonderful human being. FCU umpires today can count their blessings because of men like Pete Yellen.
Mike was a founding father of FCU. Along with Peter Yellen and John Magnusson, they formed FCU in 1990 to serve several colleges in Florida. When Mike retired, his shares were sold and split between Dennis McComb and John Magnusson.
Mike was actually the catalyst behind the original idea of FCU; he kept pushing the idea to his partners until they relented. As an attorney, Mike knew the ins and outs of forming a corporation and how to build a business. He drew up the original contracts and presented the business plan to the coaches. He was instrumental in dealing with Athletic Directors because of his professional demeanor. He was also an umpire supervisor for the Sunshine State Conference. Mike was a gifted umpire also. He worked in several conferences including the SEC and the ACC. Mike umpired the ACC Tournament and reached Division 1 Regional status. He also worked at Grand Junction, Colorado for the JUCO World Series.
On the field, Mike was known for his confidence and courage. He rose quickly in national ranks because of these skills. He was immediately comfortable in a large stadium in a pressure packed series. Coaches quickly learned that he meant business. When Mike was on the field, he was in charge of the game. After his retirement from the field, Mike continued to provide legal advice for FCU and mentor Dennis McComb and John Magnusson as friends. Without Mike Kiernan, FCU would never have been formed.
Billy Alsobrook was an original member of FCU and was very instrumental in developing FCU in the Jacksonville area. When FCU started, many umpires in that region of the state were reluctant to sign on with a new group. When Billy jumped on board, things started getting better.
Billy, a Marine who served in Vietnam, was relentless. His competitive spirit made it impossible for anyone to not work as hard as they could. He loved being an umpire and working for FCU. His unique style of handling people made him a favorite of coaches and umpires alike. He was always loyal to his partners and was proud to take the field. Billy worked several conferences but excelled in the Sun Belt Conference. He was well known to all around the conference and made every game fun. His courage never wavered. Billy retired from umpiring to concentrate on his family and teaching job. He is truly a Jacksonville legend and helped FCU grow into the large group of today.
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