Delta’s Dan Cholas has a long list of accomplishments and awards to illustrate his passion and commitment to education and the youth he has contacted over four decades.
Cholas was born and raised in Paonia. He graduated from Paonia High School in 1961 where he achieved All-Conference and All-State honors and became a high school state discus champion in 1961.
For 32 years, Cholas’ educational service included teacher, coach and administrator. He is also renowned for his ability in field maintenance, baseball umpiring and cooking. He has umpired for over 35 years and been selected to work the high school regional and state playoffs on 12 occasions.
Described as one of the state’s “do-it-all” contributors, Cholas was a football, basketball and track coach for Delta High School and served as the school’s athletic director for 15 years. He coached football and baseball at Ignacio for three years.
Cholas’ contributions to the Western Slope are broad and include service as a chef for many groups, public address announcer, CHSAA district and regional volleyball, baseball, basketball and wrestling site host, and official.
As an official, Cholas is recognized as one of the state’s top baseball umpires, having called many state playoff games (including a state final in 1999) and has held numerous state-level positions. In 1998 and 1999, Cholas umpired in two Babe Ruth World Series, held in Florida, and was the Umpire in Charge with duties behind the plate in the title game in 1999.
Overall, Cholas has umpired for over 40 years and attended the Arizona Umpiring Academy for 11 years. He was honored as a staff member and has a lifetime honorary staff membership.
For all his diligence and persistence in the game of baseball, Cholas was inducted into the Colorado High School Umpire’s Baseball Hall of Fame on May 20. The ceremony took place in Golden at the Applewood Golf Course.
Cholas’ HOF induction is not related to Colorado High School’s athletic association but rather the state of Colorado’s umpiring association.
One of Cholas’ biggest, and most meaningful awards, was his induction into the Colorado High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2007. His Hall of Fame induction in May has a special meaning for Cholas as many of the recipients are deceased. He’s honored to have been selected “with time left to enjoy the honor.”
Cholas has served on the CHSBUA executive committee and has been the area director for area #15 for 30 years. He will remain as the director in hopes of recruiting more young umpires.
For Cholas, the biggest influence in his teaching and umpiring career has been his family: wife, Doris, son, Peter and daughter, Danna.
“I’ve been blessed to have been able to umpire for 40 years. Being in good health, and the family support has been a big influence.”