During the College Sports Media Awards at the SVG College Summit in Atlanta on Thursday, Rick Bagby, assistant athletic director, video and technology, Clemson University, was honored with the 2018 SVG College Pioneer Award. The SVG College Pioneer Award celebrates those who have innovated in the fields of video production and technology at the university level and have advanced the industry at large.
“Take the opportunity that fits what you want to do, what inspires you,” said Bagby, in a speech that paid tribute to his family and industry colleagues, and offered advice to those students in the audience. “If you’re not inspired, then you’re just going to be an average Joe at whatever you do … If you want to do something that inspires people, if you want to work with people that have passion, take an opportunity. That opportunity might be for $12,000 for 10 months and no health insurance, but that opportunity — if you take it — will turn into another opportunity, and that opportunity might turn into another opportunity, and that’s how you make it in this business.
“I didn’t chase a dollar,” he continued. “I didn’t chase a paycheck, I didn’t chase a pay raise. I chased an opportunity, because I had gotten that bug and I knew this was something I wanted to do, and to this day, every day that I walk into Clemson University, it’s what I want to do.”
Bagby is in his 20th year overseeing the Athletic Video Services Department at Clemson University. He runs all live video streaming and live videoboard productions of athletic events at the university and has been one of the college-sports-video industry’s leading figures in technology innovation.
He has embraced many roles and responsibilities throughout his career. On construction projects at Memorial Stadium, Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Riggs Field, and Littlejohn Coliseum, he pushed the envelope in videoboard and control-room design. He has also used technology to improve the fan experience and student-athlete experience.
In 2019, Bagby’s role will continue to evolve with the launch of the ACC Network. He is currently overseeing a multimillion-dollar three-phase renovation and equipment upgrade of his campus and has played a key role in helping athletic departments across the conference prepare for new technological requirements and responsibilities to come.
Once the network is launched, Bagby and his staff will be responsible for producing a minimum of 13 live broadcasts of Clemson sports events for the linear-TV network from the Jervey Athletic Center control rooms.
Currently, he oversees four full-time staff members and works with and trains more than 20 students per year. His department is also responsible for many other video projects for every Clemson sports team. Highlight videos, recruiting videos, videoboard content meant to engage fans in the stadium, and content distributed to local and national news media are only part of the Athletic Video Services Department’s output.
Bagby began his career when he was a student at the University of North Carolina, working all four years as a videographer for the football team. After graduating, he returned to the UNC football team as a video assistant in 1996. After one season there, he became an assistant video coordinator with the University of Wisconsin football team in March 1997. A few months later, Bagby was named to his first head position as video coordinator for the University of Louisville football team and, subsequently, moved on to Clemson in May 1998.
The SVG College Sports Summit Pioneer Award is selected by a panel of past Pioneer Award honorees, current and former SVG College Sports Summit chairmen, SVG staffers, and senior members of the SVG College Advisory Committee.
SVG College Sports Summit Pioneer Award Honorees:
2018: Rick Bagby, Clemson University
2017: Chris Taylor, Ball State University
2016: Jim Nachtman, Pennsylvania State University
2015: John Kvatek, University of Central Florida
2015: Jeff Schmahl, Texas A&M University, University of Nebraska
2014: Rick Church, Michigan State University
2013: Mark Rodin, Florida State University
2012: Ken Norris, University of California, Los Angeles