Jack Taylor enjoys youth sports.
He was active in sports growing up just outside of Pittsburgh and he coached his three boys in their
activities after moving to Bowling Green.
Now, he umpires youth baseball and basketball games.
He’s the head of umpires for the BG Pee Wee League, and officiates boys and girls junior varsity and
junior high basketball games during the winter.
"I just get a lot of enjoyment of watching youth participate in sports," said Taylor, who is in
his seventh year as the head of umpires in BG’s summer youth baseball program.
Taylor is starting to wind down his administrative duties, and is sharing the position this season with
"There’s great satisfaction in seeing a player get a smile on their face when they get a base hit or
make a good catch in baseball, or make a shot or a good defensive play in basketball.
"I like being a part of that. Not coaching any more, umpiring and officiating gives me a chance to
stay connected as well as give back to the community and to further youth sports in those
Taylor also officiates varsity and junior varsity baseball games. He started umpiring seven years ago
when his oldest son, Marcus, asked him to join him on the field as an umpire.
Taylor helps schedule umpires at Carter Park, and for a handful of teams in the Otsego and Anthony Wayne
"When it comes to a quality individual, he’s first class in every way," Pee Wee League
president Tim Dunn said of Taylor. "He’s increased the number of umpires we have, and he brings the
perfect temperament and the proper perspective to the job. He helps the younger umpires improve and he’s
well-respected by everyone in our league, board members, coaches and the other umpires."
Taylor’s officiated basketball for 27 years, primarily working games in the BG, Eastwood, Elmwood, Otsego
and Anthony Wayne districts.
"I’ve always enjoyed officiating both sports," said Taylor, who played college basketball at
California University of Pennsylvania. He also played baseball and football in high school.
"You enjoy the kids, but you also enjoy the camaraderie of the other umpires, officials, coaches,
administrators, fans. The friendships you make will last forever."
Taylor coached his three sons Marcus, now 31; Matt, 28; and Jack, 27; in the Pee Wee League. He also
coached a youth travel basketball team in BG for 18 years until giving that up after the 2007-08 season.
Taylor helped the BGHS boys basketball team for three years, coaching the junior varsity for two seasons
and the freshmen for one.
"I enjoy teaching and mentoring the younger guys just to make them better – whether it’s as an
umpire or by coaching them," said Taylor, who will turn 60 in July.
"As adults, we need to share our knowledge, our wisdom and our experience with younger people just
to help them develop as a person. That helps them perform better at whatever they do, whether it be
athletics, their career or in school."
Taylor said a good official is one who has a good knowledge of the rules, uses a common sense application
of the rules, is a good communicator, hustles, is in the right position and has a willingness to learn.
And being able to handle verbal abuse from the parents is another must.
"Today, we have to deal with parents who just lose their senses when it comes to youth sports,"
Taylor said. "I don’t remember the outrageous behavior growing up.
"The emphasis should be on the youth and the kids’ gratification. The parents often lose sight of
the proper rules of conduct and sportsmanship, and they put too much pressure on their children to
perform and succeed. That’s the most dissatisfying part, the verbal abuse you get officiating."
Taylor was the assistant vice-president for student affairs at Bowling Green State University for 25
years before retiring five years ago. He still teaches part-time in the ethnic studies department.
He has served on a number of city and university committees and boards, including the Children’s Resource
Center board and the BG Human Relations Commission.
Taylor and his wife, Janet, have lived in BG for 31 years. Janet is an assistant principal at BGHS.
"I just want to give back to the community," he said. "Bowling Green is a great city to
live in and to raise a family. The reason the city is great is because you have a lot of people who are
giving of their time, their talents, their money and their resources. I’m just trying to do my small