Between anchoring for sports networks, hosting radio shows and reporting on professional sports teams, Sacred Heart University alumnus Dario Melendez has an abundance of experience in a field that he was introduced to during his time at SHU. His journey to a full-blown career in sports began in 2004, when he made the decision to attend SHU, where he planned on playing football for the Division I team and pursuing a career in television.
“I chose Sacred Heart mainly because of the location and what position they said I could play,” said Melendez. “Obviously it worked out great for me.”
Although Melendez came into SHU for an opportunity to play Division I football, the four years he spent in Fairfield were centered around his career, not athletics.
Melendez was introduced to journalism at SHU when he took a required course for all communication majors, which entailed writing articles for the school’s newspaper, The Spectrum. During his time in this class, he wrote for the sports section and took on the role of circulation manager before becoming a sports editor and eventually assistant editor-in-chief.
Melendez credits much of his success and capability to the lessons he learned when he was a part of The Spectrum, one of which being time management.
“Being punctual, being concise…those all came from Spectrum,” said Melendez. “I would have never had that taste for what it is like without that program.”
It was professors such as Brian Thorne, Andrew Miller, Greg Golda and Joanne Kabak who helped Melendez along his path at SHU, and because of the small class size at Sacred Heart, he was able to build strong relationships with all of the professors he had.
“I couldn’t thank them enough,” said Melendez. “That’s their job. To inspire students and help students, and in my case they did just that.”
Just five years after graduation, Melendez had the opportunity to anchor the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN)’s hit show SportsCenter.
“That’s the pinnacle of the profession. That’s all you want to do, you want to be on SportsCenter,” said Melendez. “I was very fortunate that I was the type of candidate that they were looking for.”
Other ventures into his career included reporting and anchoring for New York 1 News and Wisconsin News Television (WISN-TV) as well as hosting two radio shows on Fox Sports Radio.
Currently, Milwaukee is the new home for Melendez and his family as he has hosted pregame and postgame shows for both the Brewers and Bucks for the past three years at Bally Sports. With over ten years of experience, the majority of the research and control is left in the hands of Melendez and his crew, a major change from his time at ESPN.
“It’s almost like a marathon runner,” said Melendez. “When you run the 26.2 it’s easier because of the hundreds of miles you put in to get here.”