Chris McDaniel, the man behind the lens at SDSU
“More than likely if it’s something from a video standpoint coming out of our department, he has his hands on it and that means it’s going to be good,” SDSU Associate Athletic Director of Media Tyler Merriam stated.
If you’ve followed Jackrabbit Athletics during the past four years, you may not be familiar with the name Chris McDaniel, but you’ve certainly seen his work.
“It’s weird seeing a camera lens looking at me; where as I’m the one focusing it on someone else usually,” SDSU Broadcast Service Assistant Chris McDaniel said.
After graduating from Iowa State with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, along with a minor in sport and recreation, McDaniel would soon after make his way to SDSU.
“Chris is someone that is fairly quiet and much prefers to be out of the spotlight, I’m sure he hates this part of this that you brought him on camera,” Merriam remarked.
Joining the university as a Broadcast Service Assistant in September of 2019, the role he still fills today, his responsibilities are quite dynamic. Football, basketball, baseball and softball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, track and field, the list goes on. If the Jacks are playing it, Chris is filming it.
“I’ve yet to find a sport that he can’t shoot at a high, high level,” Merriam said.
And the highlight recaps you watch afterwards, he’s the one who edits and produces those videos as well. And the list continues…
Along with occasionally directing a live game for the Summit League Network, the weekly team updates and press conferences, and the weekly content you watch like Fall Camp Spotlights and Gameday Eve, you guessed it, Chris is right there for it all. Oh, and if you’ve ever attended a live SDSU sporting event…
“I produce like the intro videos before all of the home games for football, basketball, I’ll do wrestling, and I’ve done volleyball as well,” McDaniel told.
“He’s somebody that can wear a lot of hats and serve a lot of different roles and for someone like me, that makes him literally invaluable,” Merriam said of McDaniel.
McDaniel has crafted quite the skillset, but maybe more importantly he’s developed a trust and comfort with the players and coaches across the board.
“He can travel with wrestling, he can travel with basketball, he can travel with softball, baseball, volleyball, you name it. None of them ever has a bad word to say about it and often they say, ‘hey can we bring him along more often?” Merriam said.
“When you have guys that you trust, you have guys that have your best interest in hand, you don’t worry about it,” SDSU Men’s Basketball Coach Eric Henderson said. “We’re not trying to hide anything or anything like that, but for Chris to be around we just think it’s amazing,” said.
“I get to see what all our student athletes go through to get to those moments and for me it makes me so much more happier for them; seeing all the hard work that they put in. To be, kind of I guess a fly on the wall, it’s such a cool feeling,” McDaniel said of his experiences.
“For our entire communications staff, for the teams themselves, it’s a yin and yang deal, it’s a partnership and you have to be able to dance together and there’s nobody who does the Texas two-step better than Chris McDaniel,” Merriam glowing said.
McDaniel will be on the sidelines at Dana J. Dykhouse on Saturday as the Jacks welcome in arch rival NDSU for a Missouri Valley showdown.