Ken Stegall, a 1984 Trevecca graduate, has had a passion for sports his entire life. Recently, he turned that passion into a growing business.
“I just love watching sports and being able to work and watch the games,” Stegall says.
Stegall is one of the founders of the Scorer’s Table, a company designed to be a central network that provides all the scorekeepers and other game day workers necessary to carry off a quality sporting event. Now with partner schools and universities in the SEC and the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA), what began with Stegall’s love of the game has become an entrepreneurial success.
How It All Began
With his father in the Air Force, Stegall spent much of his childhood moving from place to place. at was until his father’s retirement nally settled the Stegalls in Fort Walton Beach, Fl.
For Stegall, one of the constants throughout all those moves was his love of sports, which continued to grow.
“I started getting involved in sports at a pretty early age ... I played baseball but I had asthma quite a bit as a kid so I wasn’t able to play very long,” said Stegall, “But I still loved sports so I kept stats for my brother’s team when I was seven or eight years old.”
That decision to serve as team statistician proved fateful. Stegall kept stats for his brother’s team the whole time he was in little league. When Stegall got to high school, he didn’t see any reason to stop.
“When I got into high school I started doing that same thing for my high school baseball team, just keeping statistics for the regular score book during games,” Stegall recalls. “Then I did a little bit of basketball scorekeeping and played in the band.”
In 1980, Stegall enrolled at Trevecca as a freshman. Planning to study accounting and computer information systems, he also found more opportunities to nurture his passion for sports and statistics. Toward the end of his first year at Trevecca, Stegall remembers reaching out to Elliot Johnson, the baseball coach at the time, to see if they needed any help.
They did, and Stegall soon found himself keeping stats for the men’s basketball team as well.
At the same time, Stegall was taking computer programming courses as part of his degree program. By putting what he had learned to work, Stegall—as an undergraduate—was able to develop programs that tallied statistics for basketball, baseball and eventually tennis.
After completing his bachelor’s degree at Trevecca, Stegall went on to pursue an MBA at Vanderbilt. At the same time, he was working full-time for CompCo, a telecommunications software company for long-distance resellers.
While studying at Vanderbilt, Stegall met Martha Keefer, who was a student at Trevecca at the time. e two married in 1985. Stegall and his wife went on to have two children: a son, Brian, and a daughter, Stephanie.
Through it all—a grueling master’s degree program, a full-time job and a growing family—Stegall continued to volunteer, helping various Trevecca sports programs keep track of their teams’ stats.
For most of that time, Stegall was solely volunteering, putting his love for stats and his knowledge of computer systems to work for no other reason than he wanted to. Stegall saw the opportunities as ways to fill a need and continue his passion.
“So throughout that time, it was mostly a volunteer position, so I would volunteer my time to help Trevecca with baseball all throughout my college career,” Stegall recalls. “When I started building a family in ’86 ... my wife was saying, ‘I think it would be good if you were paid for this since you’re spending all this time away from home.’”
So, in the early 2000s with the help of Greg Ruff, Trevecca’s sports information director, Stegall began to seek out more serious opportunities to share his skills with other members of the Nashville sports community. He began contracting to help sports programs at Trevecca, Belmont, and the Tennessee Secondary Sports Athletic Association, among others.
According to Ruff, it’s no secret why Stegall’s client list began to grow.
“He is the most prepared and competent person I’ve ever worked with,” Ruff says. “He is so intentional about preparation and eliminating as many pitfalls as possible. Ken does so much for so many. He never draws attention for it. He has helped people get jobs and helped people financially at times. He is kind even when challenged by the heat-of-the-battle comments coaches, parents, or fans might say.”
Passion Becomes a Business
In 2013, Stegall met Janet Layman, a lawyer by trade who was providing similar services to Middle Tennessee State University. The two met—as fate would have it—during a sporting event at Belmont that they both happened to be working.
“We met before the game over pizza,” Stegall says, recalling the encounter. “I said, ‘You’re a lawyer, and I’m a project manager. We should get together and start a business that does what we’re doing.’”
That partnership—the Scorer’s Table—came to life as an official business partnership between the two on May 4, 2014.
“Ken had the idea, and I had helped start businesses in my work as a lawyer,” Layman says. “This [business] has grown by leaps and bounds. The way this business works, we are rarely in the same place at the same time, but we both share a deep satisfaction in realizing that we are not just growing our own dreams, but helping many people along the way.”
As the business grew, with clients from Alabama to Kentucky, Stegall and Layman soon began to realize that while schools, colleges and universities needed statisticians, they also needed more. Could this fledgling company step in and provide all the services the schools needed, from statisticians to game clock operators and public address announcers?
The answer was yes. Stegall started the process at Trevecca.
“So Greg [Ruff] and I talked to Mark Elliot about expanding that beyond just statistics, but also providing full game table staffing to all sports eventually,” Stegall says. “The first year we just did basketball and volleyball. We provided not only the two statisticians, but also the public address announcer, the scoreboard operator, the stats board operator, the shot clock operator, and the keeper of the official score book.
“So we provided seven positions for basketball and five similar positions for volleyball,” Stegall continues. “Then we started the next year expanding into baseball, softball and soccer.”
Stegall and Layman’s partnership has only been official for a little over three years. Yet in that time, The Scorer’s Table has experienced only growth. The company’s client list now extends beyond Nashville and outside the borders of Tennessee.
“So we’ve got 10-11 universities,” Stegall says. “It goes from Middle Tennessee to Northern Alabama to Western Kentucky. We’ve added a new school for next year, Clark Atlanta University, so we’ve got another state in there. So, we’ll go to Georgia this coming year.”
No matter what the future holds, Stegall thinks the probability that The Scorer’s Table will continue to grow is high.
Bringing it to the Table
The Scorer’s Table has a lot to offer partner schools and universities. Some of their most-requested services include:
- Statisticians, to track game stats
- Public address announcer, to make real time announcements
- Scoreboard operator, to update the scoreboard
- Stats board operator, to update the stats board
- Shot clock operator, to control the shot clock for basketball games
- Official Scorebook keeper, to track the official score of the game, provide data to coach and team, and verify game info
Learn more about The Scorer’s Table at www.thescorerstable.com.