Alumni Feature: Daniel Gallegos

FOCUS ON SPORT ADMINISTRATION

Daniel Gallegos has a passion for sports, but he admits that that his athletic skills are limited.

That didn’t keep him from pursuing a career in sports.

“I knew I wouldn’t be a professional athlete,” he said. “But being exposed to behind-the-scenes roles within an athletic department appealed to me because they would keep me involved in athletics.”

Today, Gallegos is assistant director of athletics for communications at Southern Arkansas University. He is in charge of all facets of athletic communications for SAU’s 12 sports.

Gallegos graduated from Henderson in 2013 with a master’s degree in sport administration where he served as a graduate assistant for sports information. He was hired by SAU as sports information director prior to his commencement.

Gallegos said he always wanted to be a sports broadcaster, but he discovered “the world of sports information” when he began his graduate studies.

“I realized that it fit my career path perfectly with where my true passions were developing – on a university campus where I could serve as the source for athletic news,” he said.

When he researched the job market for sports information, Gallegos discovered that most positions required a master’s degree.

“I knew I needed to earn one to progress in my chosen career path,” he said. “The sport administration degree seemed like a perfect fit because it would expose me to other areas associated within athletics.

“Unless you work at a major Division I university, most athletic departments have relatively small staffs, so having working knowledge of multiple areas was going to be a major benefit for me.”

Gallegos said his degree has provided experience and exposure to other areas within athletics.

“It has allowed me to become a more valuable member of the SAU athletic department,” he said. “It also gives me the confidence that I am qualified for any job related to sports information anywhere in the country, and it also gives me the confidence that I can pursue other areas in athletics outside of sport information.”

Gallegos’s graduate studies at Henderson were a “great mix of in-class and online opportunities.”

“The faculty were always willing to meet with me to make sure I understood the concepts in a given class,” he said. “I would advise current and future students to ask a lot of questions. Ask people within the athletic department how they arrive at some of their decisions and what ways they can help.

“Nothing beats hands-on experience and most athletic departments are always looking for that helping hand.”

Gallegos said he enjoys all the preparation involved in producing a successful sports event.

“It is interesting to see the inner-workings of an athletic department and how decisions are made,” he said. “Most people only see the final product, be it a game on campus or a promotional giveaway at a game to increase attendance. But most don’t see the work that goes into making those happen.

“That is what I enjoy the most about my profession – the work that goes into displaying the final product for our fans to consume. It is odd to say, but the most rewarding aspect is when something goes off well and unnoticed. To me, that means that we did our job and we executed it properly.”

Gallegos said he would describe himself as “someone who is passionate about athletics and is deeply invested in the successes of our student-athletes and coaches, both past and present.”

He said he plans to continue his career in athletic administration and credits Henderson with his success.

“I appreciate the opportunities that were given to me in the sport administration master’s program at Henderson,” Gallegos said. “Without them, I would not have been able to get to where I am now.”

• This alumni feature is part of an ongoing project featuring Henderson's outstanding undergraduate and graduate academic programs.