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Q&A with Andy Wagner

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Q&A with Andy Wagner

Andy Wagner is in his third season with the Arkansas football team as the Director of Sports Video. Wagner came to Fayetteville after spending eight years with the Jacksonville Jaguars and 10 years overall in the National Football League.

Wagner and his staff have been instrumental in numerous enhancements to provide a more conducive environment for the Razorback coaching staff and players to utilize game film.

A native of Indiana, Wagner graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor’s of science degree in telecommunications in 1999. Wagner and his wife Karen reside in Springdale, Ark., with their two daughters, Katelyn, 4, and Makenzie, 3.

Q: As the director of sports video for the Arkansas football team, what are your responsibilities?

A: My responsibilities as the Director of Sports Video at Arkansas are to make sure that the day-to-day needs of our coaching staff in regards to video are taken care of. As a department, we manage all of the coaching video. The week starts by acquiring the footage for that week’s opponent and matching it with data so that our staff can assemble a game plan. As the week progresses, we are in charge of filming practice and getting it to the coaches and players.This includes setting up and monitoring all of the weekly meetings. We also set up multiple meeting rooms at our team hotel the night before games so that we can have meetings with the team. On game day, we film from multiple angles and assemble the video together for our staff to evaluate. During the week we also manage our recruiting library. We receive numerous high school game and highlight tapes of prospective Razorbacks. Lastly, we are in charge of ThisIsArkansasFootball.com. Obviously all of this would not be possible without a dedicated staff. Ryan Voecks is the Assistant Director of Sports Video, and he is joined by graduate assistants James DeAngelo and John Gossett. These guys are really the heart and soul of our department and probably never get the credit that they deserve. We also have a staff of four undergraduate students that are extremely valuable to our department and allow us to provide the coverage necessary to be successful at this level.

Q: You worked with Coach Petrino while you were were with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could you describe working with Coach Petrino now after knowing him all these years?

A: I worked with Coach Petrino starting in 2000 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was fun getting to know him then, and we had a great staff at that time that got along really well. Garrick McGee, our offensive coordinator, was also on that staff. When the opportunity came about here at the University of Arkansas, it was nice to have some idea of what to expect. Obviously after Coach Petrino left, it was fun to watch his success as a head coach at the college level. Coach Petrino is someone that I have a lot of respect for, and I was extremely excited to be given the opportunity to work with him again.

Q: Coming from your experience in the NFL, what have been some additions you’ve made to the Razorback video department?

A: I definitely feel that since arriving at Arkansas we have raised the level of technology to the point where we can consider ourselves to be on the leading edge of college football. We’ve made many improvements, including completely rebuilding the video room in the Broyles Center, overhauling the meeting room equipment and installing remote control cameras in our indoor practice facility. I also started the website ThisIsArkansasFootball.com a little over a year ago. It is one of the things that I am most proud of as it provides recruits a chance to take an unofficial visit of our campus from their own home. Coach Petrino believes in having the best technology available to help our coaches and players be the best they can be and he is extremely supportive to our department.

Q: What would you say has been the most instrumental factor in your career thus far?

A: I would have to say that having the opportunity to work for and with some of the best video guys in the country has definitely been a huge factor in my career. Marty Heckscher, the video coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, gave me my first opportunity in this business and really showed me the ropes when I was fresh out of college. Mike Perkins, video coordinator for the Jacksonille Jaguars, gave me my first full-time job and really helped establish my career. Mike afforded me opportunities at Jacksonville that helped prepare me to run my own department and to do it successfully. I have been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work for two men who I consider to be at the very top in our field.

Q: Since it is game day, what will your schedule look like today?

A: With a 6 p.m. kickoff, my day will start off in Springdale with the remaining team meetings that take place in the morning. From there, I will usually get to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium a little before noon and make sure that all of our equipment is running in the Broyles Center for recruits that will be on campus. Once that is done, we do a little work on our computers so that we can assemble the video quickly after the game. About two hours before kickoff, my staff will make sure that all of our cameras are in working order and ready to go for kickoff. I shoot the game with my assistant Ryan Voecks. I film the “all-22” shot from the sideline and Ryan films the “tight copy” from the endzone. Once the game is finished, we pair up the two shots so that the coaches can watch the same play from different angles. We then bring in the video from our next opponent so that we are ready to go for the coaching staff on Sunday. After everything is running smoothly at the end of the day, it’s pretty much straight to bed.

Q: After a busy day at the stadium, what can you be found doing?

A: Sleep is always something that is in short supply during the season. But, truth be told, if I am not working I am spending time with my family. I have an unbelievable wife, Karen, who is without question the most amazing woman that I know. It’s not easy being a football wife, but she pulls it off with flying colors. We have two beautiful girls, Katelyn (4) and Makenzie (3) and they are the light of my life! I spend a lot of my time during the day pretty much around the guys at work, so it is only fitting that I’m surrounded by princesses at home. My family is the most important thing in my life, and rest assured that after a long day at the office, my girls are guaranteed to put a smile on my face!



Sports Category : Football