David Craan fueling Illini spirit as a DJ at Illinois sporting events


(WCIA) — As once the man behind the plate, David Craan is now the man behind the music.

“I’m just a huge Illini fan so being able to go to football and basketball games, I’m working, but also I also get to cheer on the team,” says Craan.

After four seasons as catcher for the Illini, Craan is still putting his talents to use at Illinois. As a full-time marketing coordinator and photographer for the athletic department, Craan spends his free time as a DJ at both the football and men’s basketball games.

“It’s definitely fun especially when there’s fans, you get them singing or get the student section going,” says Craan. “Giorgi will come into the state farm center and be like ‘Yo DJ turn it up!’ stuff like that.”

Although, things were much different for Craan this season–with no fans allowed at the State Farm Center, but that didn’t stop him from bringing a sense of humor to his job. This year, he played ‘slow jams’–when Illinois went to the locker room, and the other team started warming up.

“It kind of started out as a joke, because I would play stuff that the basketball team liked when they were warming up, and then I was like let’s do some slow jams,” says Craan. “So that just kind of caught on as like a sudden vibe change completely from once the team leaves the court so it’s kinda funny.”

While Craan does most of his work behind a curtain, he has a very notable claim to fame. He played ‘Jump Around’–a tradition at Wisconsin football games–when Illinois beat the badgers in 2019. This caught fire on social media, with videos across twitter getting more than 800,000 views.

“I said, ‘if we win I’m playing this’, and then it actually got to the point where it’s like we’re kicking the field goal, and then I just played it.”

Craan is set to graduate from Illinois law school in 2023, so there’s plenty of good music to come. He’s hoping there will be a packed house to experience it again next season.

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