A Dual Leader
Zack Hedrick established a reputation both at OU and within Gaylord College BY Marley Dablo
aylord College had the privilege of claiming one of the university’s most recognized leaders: former Pride of Oklahoma drum major Zack Hedrick. The broadcast journalism alumnus established a hard-working reputation, and his numerous commitments included Gaylord Ambassador, intern for KOCO news in
Oklahoma City and play-by-play announcer for the OU Hockey Club.
Hedrick says his decision to become so involved was driven by seeing other students enjoying their experiences and having fun. His motivation to join the Pride came from the desire to be a part of the university. “Getting into football games for free for four years isn’t a bad deal, either,” Hedrick said. “The Pride was great because that in itself was like a fraternity, and you meet so many different people from all over the country.” Hedrick also worked for the university’s paper and radio station, and helped out at the college’s TV station, OU Nightly. “I always find a way to keep myself busy, I guess,” Hedrick said. “My friends always tease me about never having down time and that I’m always finding something to do. … They say ‘You wouldn’t be Zack without being busy.’” Hedrick laughs when asked about how he finds time to balance everything. He says his philosophy is that everything works out in the end. “I do balance [my time], and every now and then I take time to do whatever I want and decompress,” he said. “I think everybody needs that every once in a while.” However, he says he manages to find the time to do everything, even if it means compromising sleep or putting in more work. “When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, I know that I’m going to work hard, harder than anybody else and it will get done,” Hedrick said. Hedrick says he is not one to toot his own horn, but if he had to choose, he says his work ethic is what makes him stand out among other students. Hedrick also makes an effort to just have some fun. “If you take something out of it, something positive out of the day, you know, it makes you not think about all the crap that you had to go through and all that made you hate it, so when you look back on it, you don’t remember all the bad stuff,” Hedrick says. Hedrick tries to live by two simple points: work hard and have fun. He learned to balance both in order make the most of his college experience at OU.
“By no means do I think I’m the smartest kid in the class or the greatest news anchor that has ever walked onto the OU Nightly set … it’s all a result of hard work,” he says. Even Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote recognizes Hedrick’s hardworking personality. “I think that’s Zack,” he said. “I think wherever you put him, wherever he is, if he hadn’t come to us, that he would have been a very focused, determined young man who would excel. He is a good role model, he is totally dedicated to the field, to involvement of all kinds and to being a fine person.” Having graduated in May 2013, Hedrick says his experiences at Gaylord College and OU have prepared him to succeed in the future. He says his two greatest commitments, school and the Pride, have helped him develop in different ways. “Everything during my time here has prepared me and given me the experience to be able to go out and shoot a news story and turn it around to get it on the newscast,” Hedrick said. “And at the Pride, [I learned] how to be a member of something that is so much greater than yourself, and it gave me the opportunity to be a leader of my peers.” One recent experience, in particular, further increased his passion for journalism and made him truly appreciate all that the college has provided. “I went to the workshop that was held [at Gaylord Hall] over spring break,” Hederick said. “The National Press Photographers Association just totally changed my outlook of how I want my career to start. I want to establish myself as a great storyteller.” His dream job is to become a national play-by-play sportscaster, but he wants to start out by simply finding a job to tell people’s stories. Hedrick says being a Gaylord Ambassador has been a great experience as well. “Getting to know the faculty and being able to be so casual with them is really neat, because this place opens up so much more when you have those kind of relationships,” Hedrick said. For example, he gives credit to professor Mike Boettcher for bringing Hedrick his two internship opportunities. “If they didn’t [prepare me], I did something wrong,” Hedrick says. >>Continued on page 56