Even though his name doesnt appear on the roster, regular viewers of Mountaineer sports most likely have seen the handiwork of West Virginia University graduating senior Brandon McClung.
The sport management major has never been able to compete in sports because of a physical disability. That, however, hasnt stopped him from fully immersing himself in the sports world.
For the past three years, McClung has worked as an important conduit of information during WVU s televised football and basketball games. Using a headset to communicate with broadcast producers, he relays information from the stat crew, located in the WVU Press Box or on the Coliseums press row, to the producers outside in the TV truck and to the stat person working with the TV announcers. The numbers he supplies are used to create graphics to display during the game or in the commentary of the announcers.
“Every graphic they build is information I give them,”McClung explained.”So if I mess up, no one knows, but everyone sees it.”
Dont expect him to make too many errors. McClungs expertise and reliability lead producers to request his services when they come to town. While it may sound like a dream job for a sports fanatic, the task quickly becomes stressful during fast-paced games of national significance. Big Monday vs. Georgetown, the top-rated Miami Hurricanesvisit to Mountaineer Field, the Dec. 3 upset of Florida at the Charleston Civic Center, the Eastern Wrestling League tournamentMcClung worked all of those.
A life-long Mountaineer sports fan, he admits he had no idea what went on behind the scenes until he transferred to WVU three years ago from Greenbrier Community College.
“When I saw it, I loved it,”he said.
McClung comes from a sports family: his father, Craig, played football; brother, Brad, was an All-State football and baseball player and an all-conference basketball player, and brother Brian, a WVU junior, wrestled and played baseball. Brad, a sophomore at WVU , is now a member of the Mountaineer football team.
Although not on the playing field himself, McClung always has shared his familys love for sports. He kept books for local school teams in Greenbrier County throughout his elementary and high school days and continues involvement in prep sports by helping with the Morgantown High basketball programnot to mention his work in the WVU Athletic Department, which includes staffing mens and womens soccer, womens basketball, baseball and wrestling events.
Attending WVU and contributingalbeit behind the scenesto Mountaineer athletics has been a dream come true, he says. In the process he has met administrators, athletes and coaches, and, in his sports studies classes, has learned valuable insights from School of Physical Education professors. He has made the Deans or Presidents List each semester at WVU and is a member of Golden Key International Honour Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the WVU Sport Management Club.
McClung, who has minors in business administration and communications, hopes in the future to work in college athletics, either in sports information or administration. He will continue his education in WVU s graduate sport management program.
A 1998 graduate of Rainelle Christian Academy, he is the son of Craig and Vicki McClung of Rainelle.