Alum Covers Rose Bowl, Big Sporting Events

Posted on: January 28, 2014


When the Spartans won the Rose Bowl, CAS alumnus Steve Keller was there on the sidelines providing video coverage as part of ESPN's broadcast team. Two days later, he was filming the Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, Texas, for Fox Sports.

Keller, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts and Technology, is a freelance steadicam operator in the sports broadcast television industry and has covered a number of nationally televised sporting events.

Not only did he work the Rose Bowl, he also was there for Fox Sports when MSU won the Big Ten Football Championship Game against Ohio State.

"Being able to do both the Big Ten title game and Rose Bowl this year, given the success of the Spartans in both games, was quite surreal," Keller said. "After both of those games when my job was finished for the night, I stood on the field and looked around to try and take it all in for a second. Those are memories I will have for a lifetime. It doesn't get much better than that for me."

Keller-Steave-ClassKeller was back on campus on Saturday doing steadicam coverage of the MSU/U of M basketball game for ESPN's College GameDay.

"Coming back to the Breslin for College GameDay and still being treated as a part of the Spartan family was really cool. As if I needed a reason to love Michigan State anymore. It's quite an incredible place," Keller said.

While on campus last week, Keller took time out to speak to L.A. Dickerson's sports journalism class about his experiences as a steadicam operator and as a student at MSU. One of the messages he shared was the importance of extracurricular activities, and the experience gained by doing an internship and being involved in student groups such as Telecasters.

"Of course, we all receive an incredible education from MSU, but the extra opportunities available for the taking are great," Keller said. "Telecasters was an incredible experience and I have friends for life because of it. Same goes for SpartanVision sports broadcasting."

Keller also emphasized the importance of networking and trying to find a mentor or someone who has had success in the field that interests you most.

"It will amaze you what simply reaching out to those types of people can lead to," he said.

Keller began his career at ESPN in Bristol, Conn., as a steadicam and jib operator for Domestic Studio Production after graduating from MSU in May 2010. He left ESPN one year later to purchase his own equipment and pursue a freelance steadicam career. This move took him from Connecticut to New York City, and eventually to Dallas, Texas, where he now lives.

His main clients include ESPN, Fox Sports, ABC, TNT, Bravo and the Golf Channel.

"Being a freelance Steadicam operator for live sports became a goal and dream of mine when I realized such a job existed. The fact that it is now reality is something that is still unreal to me," Keller said. "On this same note, some people thrive in a staff job environment like ESPN where I began my career. And the industry needs both types of people or else it just wouldn't work. So I always tell people to find out what best suits them and their personality and the lifestyle they want to have instead of trying to figure out which one is 'better.'"

Besides the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl Classic, Big Ten Football Championship Game and other college football games, Keller has covered Monday Night Football, SportsCenter, SportsNation, Major League Soccer, the X Games and Ryder Cup.

He also has worked at some big non-sporting related events, including the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum dedication in April 2013, where he stood on stage with President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. And, he covered the solemn ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 2013.

Right now, he is looking forward to working for ESPN's College GameDay in February and at the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Final Four April 5-7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. He also will be covering the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, March 8-12 for Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live."

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