Social media expertise pays off for ACU grad Ryan Cantrell
By Rowdy Riggins, June 6, 2019
Many young men grow up dreaming of playing in the major leagues. While most do not make it, ACU alumnus Ryan Cantrell (’11) is doing the next best thing.
Cantrell, a Fort Worth native who earned a degree in broadcast journalism, works for the Texas Rangers as a social media coordinator where he assists with content strategy and creation for the clubs’ official accounts. If that isn’t exciting enough, during the off-season Cantrell works for Fox Sports Southwest, running its social media coverage for Dallas Stars games. Cantrell is living out his dreams, and credits much of his success to his years at ACU.
“At ACU, before I knew how to write, I joined The Optimist, because I knew I wanted to do sports journalism,” says Cantrell, who started covering women’s soccer and then ended up covering all sports, which introduced him to ACU’s multimedia program. With multimedia, he was able to work with the ACU Coach’s Show with then-head football coach, Chris Thomsen (’00). Cantrell’s real-world experience coupled with encouragement from faculty in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication connected him with Lance Barrow (’77), executive producer of CBS’s NFL and golf coverage, where he got a job as a broadcast assistant.
These experiences helped Cantrell obtain several coveted opportunities right out of college: He worked in media relations for the Houston Astros, communications for the Houston Texans and as an account executive for the Integrate Agency in Houston. These experiences have led Cantrell to where he is now, working with the Texas Rangers and Fox Sports.
“I still use things today that I learned in college, like how to write clean copy. It’s very important, people get and lose jobs over tweets,” he says.
Writing professional copy is something JMC students are still taught today, and the experiences and connections at their disposal provide them the means to follow their dreams. Many people say if you love what you do, you will never work in your life. Cantrell would agree. When asked about the most rewarding part of his job, he said, “For me, it’s just getting to do something I am passionate about. The schedule is brutal, but I am not sure I can classify what I do as actual work. It’s pretty unreal at times. “Growing up as a Rangers’ fan, it’s very rewarding to share in the team’s successes and failures and be a voice for the organization to the fans,” he said.