Dave Willert

Dave Willert overlooks the court from his game-day perch at Redbird Arena.

NORMAL — Dave Willert is constantly getting ready for the next event.

It’s that variety that Willert finds enjoyable about his job as assistant auditorium technical director for the Illinois State athletics department.

“It’s not a monotonous job. It’s something different every day, and I like the people I work with,” Willert said. “Whatever comes into the athletic facilities, I’m responsible for.”

That means Willert sets up the sound system for not only ISU athletic events in all sports but also for any news conferences.

“Dave is the technical guru. If I have any kind of problem with anything, especially audio, Dave jumps into action,” said Mike Williams, assistant athletics director for communications. “If he can’t answer my question, which is rare, he figures out an easier way to make it happen.”

A 1992 graduate of Normal Community High School who played baseball for the Ironmen, Willert studied education at ISU.

“When I graduated from ISU in ’97 there was a spot open in the (Horton) Field House. I took it while I was looking for other teaching jobs,” Willert said. “I was working on seats in the football stadium one day to lining the softball field the next day.”

About 10 years ago, Willert was offered his current position.

“I was single at the time and didn’t mind working so much,” he said.

Willert maintains 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily hours handling “whatever comes up that needs to be looked at, I’ll look at it.”

He returns for campus, or simply stays on campus, for evening athletic events. Willert maintains scoreboards, video boards and sound systems at all of ISU’s sports venues, as well as working at Illinois High School Association events and ISU’s Gamma Phi Circus.

“The club room at Hancock Stadium has gotten us a lot of work with all the meetings over there,” said Willert. "If they need projectors, screens and internet, they call me to get all that.

“Where the athletic department would host 300 to 400 events a year, I have to get my nose into each one of them to see what their needs are. We’re event-driven here. I try to make things as easy for people coming in to use our facilities as possible.”

Williams said he relies on Willert most heavily on football game days.

“I can’t count how many times on game day I call Dave. Whatever is going on, he can usually fix it in the drop of a dime,” said Williams. “When outside (television) crews come in with a ton of different requests, we have to try to make it work.

"That’s where Dave comes in handy. He coordinates with the producer and we let them know we can get them taken care of.”

Willert and wife Christy live in El Paso with 6-year-old son Riley and 4-year-old daughter Sophie.

“My wife is fantastic,” Willert said. “She gets a lot of credit to let me do what I do. My family puts up with me being gone a lot.”

Follow Randy Reinhardt on Twitter: @pg_reinhardt



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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