Dylan Lierz: A Wildcat at ESPN

Posted January 05, 2022

Dylan Lierz

Meet Dylan Lierz '19, media replay operator for Entertainment Sports Programming Network, or more commonly referred to as ESPN.

“We do more than just instant replay,” said Lierz, whose degree is in mass communication. “I work mostly on the studio side of things (instead of live games) editing video and working as a replay monitor.”

And no two days are the same for the Topeka West High graduate.

“As an operator, we rotate through the vast array of shows that we produce. Additionally, I am cleared to operate different equipment, so I could be operating a different piece of equipment on a different show each day. For example, on Thursday, I could work on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter and 11 p.m. SportsCenter, and then on Friday I could work on NFL Live and then do halftimes for the college basketball games that night. Every day is different and the variety is exciting and allows me to touch a wide range of shows and work with a large group of talented people.”

For Lierz, this experience is a dream come true.

“If someone had told me my senior year at K-State that my first job out of college would be working for ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, I would have told them they’re crazy,” Lierz said. “It has really been a dream come true to work at this level of TV production and to be able to work with some of the best in the business — many of whom have been working at ESPN longer than I have been alive. Every day is an adventure and it’s an honor to be able to try and provide a lot of sports fans the content they want to see. “

And those he works with are big-time names. Especially one in particular.

“If I had to have a favorite talent, I think I would go old school here and choose Chris Berman,” he said. “I used to watch him during NFL games and NFL PrimeTime before I ever worked here. He’s classic NFL and is a legend in the biz.”

Lierz worked at K-StateHD.TV all four years as a student.

“This was an undeniably priceless experience that had a major impact on me and a massive reason for why I am at ESPN,” he said. “The connections I made working for the athletic department spread to jobs at WIBW, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals and freelance gigs down the line.”

And his love for the purple and the white will forever be embedded in him no matter where life leads him.

“K-State will forever have a special meaning as that is where I had so many good times and created so many friendships and solid relationships that will last forever,” he said. “I grew as a person considerably over my four years in Manhattan and will always look back at my time fondly in MHK. I worked a lot of sporting events and was so closely connected to our teams during my time there, so now my compromise is to watch every game I can on TV to compensate for that!”

While he must be neutral on the set, deep down Lierz will always remember where his roots came from.

“We obviously televise a lot of games, but whenever I see that purple Powercat I definitely take notice,” he said. “It means a ton to be able work some of our games, both football and basketball, but I have to be careful not to be too much of a fan because we still have a job to do too! I work with a lot of talented people, but I don’t think there are any other K-State grads here, so I try my best to rep the school most people don’t know too much about.”

After beating LSU at the TaxAct Texas Bowl and Lierz pumping out ESPY-type edits, the Wildcats and Wabash Cannonball can’t help but get noticed.

— Article submitted by Gary Van Cleve '85