ANAHEIM, Calif. As soon as NCAA bids were announced on Sunday, the video king turned to his digital realm and started to summon his subjects.
Chad Bunn, the video coordinator for BYU's basketball program, has worked the WAC and then Mountain West tournaments as their video coordinator since 1993. Bunn has the challenge of providing opponent game film for coaches to break down for scouting reports.
It's a business where speed is of the essence, especially at tournament time. Bunn has the wonder of technology at his fingertips and literally grabs action out of the air and places it in the hands of college staff, a job he does all season for the Cougars.
BYU's staff and players learned they'd be playing Texas A&M in the first round of the West Regional in Anaheim during Sunday's televised selection show on CBS about 4:25 p.m. By 5:30, Bunn had DVDs of four of A&M's most recent basketball games on the desks of Cougar coaches. In his library, he had a total of 18 Aggie games including last 10 in a row, and they were ready hours later.
Sunday night, Bunn received requests from UNLV for game film on Kent State, and New Mexico also made a request for their NIT game. The University of Kentucky, University of San Diego and Boise State basketball programs also called Bunn requesting game tapes of their opponents. He simply went to his library, got out the appropriate DVDs and sent them by courier or express mail. For schools like Kentucky, within an hour, Bunn placed digitized files in a software program called Dragon Fly and shared the games through the Internet.
The Video King delivered.
"The new technology is amazing, just terrific," said Bunn.
"This is the best year ever," said Bunn of his library. "It's the first year I've used exclusively DVDs to record games." Back in 1989 when working under then-head coach Roger Reid, Bunn recorded games on VHS tapes, a format that allowed more action but was not as fast as the digital age. He cannot fit as many hours on DVD (six) as compared to eight, but technology has rocketed game film exchange into an exciting age.
"It's pretty slick, if you want to know the truth," said Bunn, 44, who graduated from Sky View High and is a 1989 graduate of BYU, hired by LaVell Edwards as a student manager.
In the bowels of the giant Marriott Center, Bunn has a secured office carved out of a little enclave near player locker rooms. His equipment includes 31 DVD recorders, 6 DVRs that are connected to DirectTV satellite. He spends his time locating and recording games all season long. At last count, Bunn's collection for this college basketball season stands at 1,200. That enabled him to give the BYU coaches not only A&M games but also 20 UCLA games, if they get by the Aggies, and two "token" Mississippi Valley State games if the Cougars happened to advance and play MVS instead of the No. 1 seed Bruins.
In other words, Bunn has the NCAA bracket food chain covered any way it wants to munch.
Bunn has a degree in communication but he's had to forge his own way in this business, networking with other programs, sharing services, building bridges. He's had to implement his own techniques and set of skills to get the job done.
"Necessity is the mother of invention," Bunn said. "I was raised on a farm where animals, livestock and people relied on you every day, so when I've encountered a problem, it's my nature to try and find a solution to get it done."
Bunn has a student assistant, Tim Jackson, who wants to get into coaching. "The thing is, a lot of programs don't have the luxury of having a video coordinator, an assistant coach has to do the job, so for a guy like Tim, this is valuable experience because when he interviews for a job, he can sell this skill as part of the package."
When the MWC called, placing Bunn in a position to feed copies of games to every coach in the league during the tournament, Bunn sets up shop and churns out requests. "It's a humbling experience, to be asked to work with all those coaches and players and do something to contribute," said Bunn."I'm also lucky to be working with a coach like Dave Rose. He doesn't micromanage me, he trusts me to do my own thing. His entire staff is fun to work with, and they're effective at what they do as evidenced by the records they are setting right now."
Cougars at NCAAs
(8) BYU (27-7) vs. (9) Texas A&M (24-10)
The Honda Center
Thursday, 5:25 p.m.
TV: Ch. 2