Todd Tichenor knew from an early age that he wanted to play baseball at GCCC.
From 1995 to 1997, his dream was a reality while he played Broncbuster Baseball under legendary Coach Joe Slobko. He recalls playing at the state-of-the-art Williams Stadium. Another fond memory was practicing inside “Buster Academy,” one of the first indoor
practice facilities in the KJCCC.
The “one-on-one teaching” he received was one of the biggest reasons he chose GCCC. Another reason was affordability, Tichenor said.
“Growing up in a single-parent household, my mom didn’t have the money to put me through college. I was on my own and to be truthful, wouldn’t have been able to afford to go anywhere else.”
Attending GCCC taught Tichenor many things.
“The most important thing I learned was that no matter what someone’s background is or where they grew up, people matter,” he said. “My coach Joe Slobko told us, ‘You play for the name on the front of the jersey first and the name on the back second.’ We literally became a family; I am still close to many of my peers and teachers at GCCC. I still put the logo on the front of my shirt before my name on the back.”
After graduating from GCCC with his Associate in Science, he continued at the Jim Evans
Academy of Professional Umpiring.
“Getting my associate degree allowed me to put on my resume for umpire school that I had graduated with a degree and was ready and willing to further that education in the umpiring dept.,” he said.
Tichenor is in his 24th year in professional baseball, his 14th in the Major Leagues. He currently serves as a Major League Umpire. Tichenor is a Crew Chief guiding a crew of four, umpiring Major League Baseball (MLB) games, and communicating with the league office. He also handles replay duties for MLB and communicates with on-field personnel about new pitch clock regulations.
Tichenor shared great advice for GCCC students.”
To any current student, I’d like to say always put your best foot forward, start your day with a smile, and be a positive person on campus. Don’t forget you are there for a reason: to get an education. What happens after that is up to you. Be a good person, and good things will happen,” he said. “To any prospective student, whether young or young at heart, GCCC is a place
where the president will know your name, and if you need anything, the door is always open. GCCC was the right place for me, and it will be for you.”
Tichenor still calls western Kansas home and speaks highly of Garden City Community College.
“Once a Buster, always a Buster. The people that came into my life at GCCC are still in my life to this day. I owe a lot to the school, the town, and the people. I choose to still live in western
Kansas, where I still bleed brown and gold,” he said.
Garden City Community College is proud to have played a role in Todd Tichenor’s success.