Clarksville, Ark.-University of the Ozarks senior Daniel Gallegos holds a work-study position like many students on campus, but unlike others his is one that has turned into a future career in sports.
Gallegos, a native of Sherwood, Ark., is finishing his third year as the Student Assistant Sports Information Director. One of his main duties includes his role as the radio play-by-play man for the baseball team. The broadcasts can be heard locally on Clarksville’s KXIO 106.9 and via the station’s live internet streaming capabilities.
“It’s been a great experience at Ozarks,” said Gallegos. “Doing this as a work-study job has made me realize I could do this every day as a career. It’s not a job that I would ever be unsatisfied with.”
He is particularly interested in continuing his broadcast career in baseball. He developed a passion for the game at an early age, playing as a youth and later at Sylvan Hills High School, where his team won a state championship. Gallegos grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and often attended minor league games there.
“One of my earliest childhood memories is going to the ballpark with my dad to watch Albuquerque play,” said Gallegos. “My dad and all my uncles are avid sports fans. The only sport I ever wanted to play was baseball.”
His passion for the game has been enhanced by the opportunity to work closely with a college baseball team. He is a self-described “junkie” of the game and one who will show up at the ballpark hours early.
“I am the type of guy who just loves to be around baseball,” said Gallegos. “I love talking about it. It is almost like a sanctuary for me. My mind can be free of all the stresses, and from the first pitch to the last pitch - that is all I am focusing on.”
Gallegos, who will graduate in May with a degree in strategic communication, assists in the daily operations of the sports information office, helping publicize ten NCAA III sports. He has served as the official statistician and public address announcer at a number of baseball games during his time at Ozarks. His play-by-play resume also includes basketball, soccer and softball. A typical game day for Gallegos involves putting together game notes, studying the opponent statistics and keeping a keen eye on batting practice.
“Most don’t even realize Sports Information is an actual position,” said Gallegos. “I didn’t understand what all it entailed. I don’t think the general public understands there are people putting out press releases and compiling stats and working a ton of hours. But those who are aware of SID’s believe we are perfect. It is very tough to balance all of the sports and get them the recognition they deserve.”
Gallegos has been a mainstay in the athletic department since his sophomore season. He has become appreciated by athletic personnel, including Athletics Director Jimmy Clark and Sports Information Director Josh Peppas.
“I don’t even think of him as a student,” said Clark. “He is more like a full-time SID. He can handle all of the stuff. He is versatile, dependable and does a good job. We will miss him when he graduates. He will be a good one and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire him right out of college. Somebody will be lucky to get him.”
“Daniel has a bright future within this field,” said Peppas. “He has done so much for our athletic department and university. He has all of the skills and attributes needed to succeed. He is passionate about college athletics and is a true baseball fan.”
Gallegos has balanced a 16-hour class schedule this semester in addition to his SID position. He also works as a Resident Assistant and an intramural referee. He has been a top student, earning American Southwest Conference All-Academic honors as a Sports Information Assistant. He plans to attend graduate school and continue in sports information, and eventually hopes to land a job in baseball.
“The ultimate goal of mine would be to call major league baseball games,” said Gallegos, who is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. “A lot of commentators started in the minor leagues or independent baseball, and then they’ve worked their way up. I know it won’t be easy or something that happens immediately, but that would be the pinnacle. It will be through God’s will.”
He has natural ability behind the microphone, and a smooth radio voice, to go along with a vast knowledge of the game. While he may not have a signature call yet, he listens to those who have made it to the big leagues to gain further knowledge.
“It’s hard not to copy commentators who have become famous for certain lines,” said Gallegos. “I watch a lot of baseball on television and I’ve picked up on certain styles. I got inspired knowing that they are out there every day and getting paid for it. I listen how they call games. My two favorite commentators are probably Dan Schuman and Jon Miller. I also like to listen to Joe Buck and Josh Lewin.”
According to Gallegos, Ozarks has provided him with a number of opportunities, both in and out of the classroom.
“If I could sum up my experience at Ozarks in one word it would be opportunity,” he said. “Everything just fell into place here. I think there is a reason I came here. I think God put me here. The things I’ve gained from my job you really can’t put a price tag on. If I would have gone anywhere else I think I would be more lost than ever as to what I wanted to do. But now I have a passion and direction. The whole thing is surreal. I have been blessed to be able to be in this position here.”