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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Behind the scenes of gameday at Texas State athletics

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Kobe Arriaga
Mega Webb (left), Audrey Tuttle (middle) and Aaron Farmer (right) before the softball game versus Appalachian State, March 22, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

With Texas State baseball and softball conference play underway, it’s time for more game days in San Marcos. Fans flood the stands to enjoy the teams, but a lot more goes into game days other than just the famous words ‘play ball’.

All fans may see are players competing and highlights from the game, but behind the scenes, Texas State athletics has individuals that make game days happen in San Marcos.

Audrey Tuttle, assistant athletic director of Marketing & Fan Engagement, started out at Texas State as a marketing coordinator before getting promoted to marketing director where she now oversees the department.

Tuttle is responsible for directing music played, video board graphics, emcees and working with the Learfield sponsorship team to implement things such as the Whataburger Fry Shuffle.

“There’s so much that goes into gameday, like connecting with our fans. And once we are in the game, we need to provide a good in-game experience for them,” Tuttle said.

On the facilitation side, Texas State has people like Aaron Farmer, director of Facilities and Operations.

“If I have a gameday, I’ll get out there early [and] get set up,” Farmer said. “That includes putting up flags, making the facility look nice so everybody knows it’s a game day, Making sure everything works like the scoreboard, music, adjusting volume levels and setting up for replay.”

Every game day is different for facilities workers depending on the sport. Farmer said softball’s clay infield provides more of a challenge because weather becomes a factor in game preparation.

“There’s a lot of parts to it that can get stressful, but at the end of the day, it’s a game and we’re there for the student-athletes, the coaches and for the fans as well,” Farmer said. “[We ensure] that they all have a great experience and all enjoy getting to do what they want to do.”

Not all fans get to enjoy that game day experience firsthand. For fans of Texas State, Victoria Heim, director of broadcasting, allows fans to watch the game from away via ESPN+.

“During a broadcasted game I serve as the producer,” Heim said. “There are only three full-timers that do the broadcast for Texas State and the rest are all students.”

Heim said she enjoys working with students on her broadcasts and providing them with this opportunity because she knows she will forever be part of their journey.

Heim prepares for her students’ arrival two hours before game time so everything runs smoothly for the broadcast. She first manages the control room’s audio and graphic elements before setting up cameras and communicating with ESPN+ to ensure swift commercial break transitions.

It takes more than just Heim to run the broadcast, though. She works with other departments to allow for these broadcasts to happen.

“In my headset that I wear on game days, I’ve got around 20 voices in my ear at all times, and during commercial breaks, I’ve got 60 seconds to decipher who is the most important,” Heim said.

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