Cedar Hill Graduate Is Voice of Dallas Baptist University Athletics
Growing up, Brendan Smith’s two main interests were baseball and theatre.
The 2005 Cedar Hill High School Graduate combined the two for his career.
His official title is Assistant Director of Athletics for External Relations at his alma mater, Dallas Baptist University (DBU).
But most DBU fans know Smith as the Voice of the DBU Patriots, calling the play-by-play for several teams at the university but most notably, the baseball program.
“There are a lot of communication things like projecting your voice and speaking clearly that overlap,” Smith said. “You also have to study for a broadcast the same way you’d study for a character. The number you can do in Theatre or Broadcasting is preparation.”
DBU’s Baseball Team is a perennial national powerhouse and the university’s only Division I Athletic Program. The rest of the Patriots’ athletic teams compete in Division II.
Smith graduated from DBU in 2009 and worked in sports radio for ESPN and CBS and as a producer for 105.3 FM “The Fan”
“I got really lucky – I knew someone who worked for ESPN Radio in Dallas, got an internship there,” Smith said. “I said ‘yes’ to every opportunity they gave me. If that meant being there at 5 a.m. three days per week and answering phones, I’d do it. If they asked me to be there on Thanksgiving Night, I was there.”
Smith returned to DBU in 2014, and along with Reagan Ratcliff, the school’s Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations, they started the Patriot Radio Network to where DBU Athletics would have its games broadcast live on the Internet. The network has grown considerably over the past few years.
Smith, who earned a Master’s Degree in Communications Theory at DBU in 2019, also teaches Broadcasting at DBU.
“When I was a kid, I was always fascinated with Eric Nadel and the late Mark Holtz of the Rangers,” Smith said. “I would play sports video games and do play by play.”
Under the leadership of head coach Dan Heefner, the Patriots have made 10 NCAA Tournament appearances since 2008, including Super Regionals last year and in 2011.
“We first made a Super Regional in 2011 and built a new ballpark in 2013, and every year, we kept raising the bar,” Smith said. “Last year, we were seven outs away from the College World Series. Our goal is to make it to the College World Series and to win a National Championship.”
As much as the baseball program has built its profile, so has the Broadcasting Program.
“We have 20 to 30 students every game, running cameras and cables,” Smith said. “They are producing and engineering. It’s part of their curriculum to work on the broadcast. It’s an experience that will help them when they graduate.”
Smith said it was really rewarding to find out the reach that the Patriots Radio Network has with DBU Fans.
“We’ve had missionaries in Nicaragua say they listen to DBU games all of the time,” Smith said.
Smith enrolled at Cedar Hill ISD as a freshman at Cedar Hill High School in 2001. He met his wife, Ashley (Cyrek) Smith during a Theatre Class their sophomore year. Ashley is now the Academic Dean at Arlington High School. The couple, who attended DBU together. has three children.
Smith played Freshman and Junior Varsity Baseball for the Longhorns. He remembers shifting his focus away from playing sports.
“In my sophomore year, teammate Clint Arnold (who went on to play for Arkansas and TCU) was incredible,” Smith said. “I thought he was a senior. I realized he was only a junior. That’s when I realized, I love sports, so I’m going to make a living talking about it.”
As a person who works for – and has two degrees from a Christian university – faith is a very important part of Smith’s life.
“It’s always been a part of my life, and I began taking it more seriously in middle school,” Smith said. “I remember organizing Bible Studies in high school and praying with my friends.”