Baseball umpire and academic coach

A self-described baseball junkie, Cole Lemasters figured out a way to participate in the game even when he wasn’t playing. At 14, he became a Little League baseball umpire and quickly fell in love with the art of perfecting his craft.

Lemasters is now a junior at Mizzou and said one of the things he loves most about the sport is the hustle — and it doesn’t just come from the athletes. “As umpires, we have to hustle, too, to make sure we are in the best position to make the right calls,” he said. “In terms of hustling and putting yourself in the best position to be successful, those skills apply to baseball and life in general.”

To cover all of his bases — on and off the field — Lemasters brings a positive attitude and hustle. In addition to being a full-time student in one of the country’s most intensive journalism programs, he is also a play-by-play broadcaster for Mizzou’s student-run radio station, KCOU; a strategic communications intern for Mizzou Athletics; and a data analyst for Mizzou’s baseball team — all hands-on learning opportunities that help him as he pursues a certificate in sports statistics.

In addition to umpiring mid-Missouri high school baseball games, Lemasters is also a coach — an academic coach — at the MU Learning Center, where he helps Mizzou students develop good study habits, note-taking techniques and time management skills.

He has also realized the importance of time management while balancing schoolwork with his various extracurricular activities.

 “If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you might start putting 50% in here and 50% there, and the final product suffers as a result,” Lemasters said. “I make it a point to put in 100% — regardless of what I’m doing.”

His efforts are continuing to pay off, as Lemasters has been climbing the umpiring ranks as he gains experience and confidence.

As Lemasters’ confidence has grown, so too has his communication skills, thanks in part to his strategic communication classes at Mizzou.

“Being an effective communicator not only helps me in my role as a sports broadcaster for KCOU, but also as an umpire as well,” said Lemasters. “Being clear and concise when communicating a particular message is helpful in so many different aspects of life. I have always enjoyed being a part of the baseball community, so I look forward to continuing to help my community by umpiring going forward.”

Headshot of Cole Lemasters wearing umpire uniform

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Year in school: Junior
Major: Journalism – strategic communication