Dennis Bates was born in Escondido California and has lived in North San Diego County all his life. He attended Valley Center Elementary School, Escondido High School and Palomar College majoring in Business Administration. While at Escondido High School he was a member of the swim team and participated in the La Jolla Rough Water Swim.
Dennis’s grandfather started the Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center and Dennis worked for a time in the family business. He also worked as a home delivery milkman for Hollandia Dairy, worked in construction, the bio-tech industry, and in 2004 earned his realtor’s license. Dennis and his wife Lao have five children: Todd; Ted; Charlie; James; and Jennifer.
He started coaching his sons, in the Ramona Pony Baseball organization in 1983 and volunteered to Umpire in the organization the following year. Dennis continued to coach and Umpire until 1993 while two of his sons, Charlie and James, followed in his footsteps and also began umpiring. He also served on the Board of Directors and helped maintain the Ramona Pony baseball field during that time.
Dennis joined San Diego County Baseball Umpires Association in 1984 and continued to umpire until 2004. During that time, he worked many playoff games, semifinals, and CIF championship games. Dennis served on the Board of Directors and was Vice President from 1996 through 2000.
Dennis began officiating High School Volleyball by joining the San Diego Federation Volleyball Officials in 2004. He became the Vice President from 2006 through 2008 and was responsible for recruiting new volleyball officials. On the court, Dennis has been selected to work on several CIF playoff, semifinal, and championship games. He currently serves as the President of the Association and has held the position for the past twelve years.
Dennis continues to give back to the community even donating his officiating fees to local volleyball clubs at times. In order to help the sport and provide additional training opportunities for officials, he organized high school volleyball scrimmages that have now grown into a five-day, 48-team set of scrimmages. Clearly, under his leadership, the San Diego Federation Volleyball Officials Association has seen tremendous growth in training, education for officials and coaches, and the recruitment of new officials.