SE: Capturing the Moment

Jay Moline, assistant video producer for K-StateHD.TV, never wants to miss a moment. 

Whether it’s as big as a game-winning shot or as small as the flash of a smile, he wants to capture it all. 

Moline is one of K-State Athletics’ many behind the scenes staff members. He shoots and produces many of the videos you see at K-State events and online. He produces pump-up videos, highlight videos, player profiles and much, much more.

He waits for these special moments, captures them, then shares them with Wildcat fans with the goal of making those fans feel like they were right there, right in that specific moment in time. 

Moline knows how important every moment is because there was a time when he wasn’t promised another moment in his life. There was a time when his moments were limited to hospital beds, wondering if he’d live to see another day.

Moline grew up loving sports. He played everything, but baseball was his favorite. He was born absent of his right pulmonary artery, basically born with one lung, but after an early surgery he recovered, grew up and, besides having asthma, was completely healthy. 

He was a typical, sports-loving, active kid. 

Until, that is, he was 10-years-old. 

“I was on the baseball field, running in from practice, and I got to the bench and passed out,” said Moline. “No one had any clue why. I had never seen a cardiologist, so I went to our family doctor and he said I should probably go see one.”

 Moline went to a cardiologist and did a stress test. Things didn’t go well.

“I’ll never forget the words the cardiologist told my parents that day,” continued Moline. “They’re words I’ll never forget. He said, ‘Your son is a ticking time bomb.’”

Not long after that doctor’s visit, Moline was back in the hospital for his first open heart surgery. On December 8, 1995 – exactly 20 years ago this week – he had his Mitral Valve Replaced and a Vascular Stent Implant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The surgery took eight hours. 

“I had a few complications, to say the least, with the lung stuff,” said Moline. “It was a big push to get my body off the heart and lung machine to get me to breathe on my own. There were a few scary moments there for my parents, but it was a blur to me.”

At 10-years-old, the surgery wasn’t the hard part for Moline. The hard part came after the surgery when everything he loved was stripped away. 

“I didn’t know what to think,” said Moline about the time following his surgery. “I was a normal kid, I played video games, I was on a flag football team and I was on a baseball team. I loved sports, and then, it all kind of stopped.”

That’s when Moline’s parents, Kevin and Cindy, contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network. 

“When you get to make a wish as a kid, that’s a serious deal,” said Moline. “My mom had to take eight tanks of oxygen on the plane ride, but I went to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. My whole family, we all went to Hawaii for two weeks. We got to go on a whale-watching trip; we got to meet a bunch of the Pro Bowl players. We did a bunch of big things. I walked around with my scar out, and it was great.”

Moline said his life changed dramatically after his surgery, but it helped form him into the person he is today. Because of his past, he had the opportunity to run with the Olympic Torch, he earned the Sports Illustrated for Kids Good Sport award and posed for photos with Mark McGwire in the St. Louis Cardinals’ outfield.

“That’s kind of the odd thing about my childhood, I missed out on a lot of things, but I did a lot of odd things that are only possible because I have heart problems,” said Moline. “I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go out and play football, but I also got to go to a baseball game and meet the best home run hitter of all time. There are pros and cons, but ultimately, because of my heart problems, it made me who I am today.”

Moline, a 2007 graduate of Missouri State University, has been with the K-State video department since 2011. He came to K-State after spending three years at New Mexico State where he was the Aggies’ main videographer. In 2008, in just his first year working in New Mexico, he began experiencing heart problems again and underwent his second open-heart surgery. At just 23 years old, Moline was back in the hospital, this time for Aortic Valve Replacement surgery. 

In both of his heart surgeries, Moline’s heart stopped completely. He has, technically, been dead twice in his life. Through it all, he’s learned how fragile life is.

He’s learned how important moments are. 

“Having it taken away from me, sports means a lot more to me than just wins and losses,” Moline said. “A lot of the things that I focus on now with my job, it’s capturing the moment. That’s what I like about sports so much – there are so many moments you can capture, and it has an effect on people. If you see a kid make a basket, you know it means a lot to that kid, to his parents, to his team, to the school, that one moment can affect so many people. So, being able to tell those stories and think of all those things in that one little moment, that’s why I enjoyed it so much.”

With the passion and intensity he brings to his craft because of his intense background, Moline has been a major asset to the K-State video department.

“He’s a critical component for our department,” said K-State Director of Video Services Brian Smoller. “When we hired him, we really liked the artistic skill he brought to the table and how hard of a worker he was. I think Jay is just very gifted; he can write, he writes a lot of the stuff we do, he does our social media and tells stories through the lens. We’re very lucky to have him here.” 

The main sports Moline covers for the Wildcats are men’s basketball, volleyball and track and field – three of his favorite sports to cover because of the immense emotion shown by the student-athletes – but he’s done a little bit of everything in his five years at K-State.  

“I honestly don’t know what the best part about this job is,” Moline said with a smile. “I think just being able to tell the athletes’ stories. I want to capture the moment and tell it to the best of my ability so if you weren’t there, my job is to make you feel like you were a part of what was going on.” 

Moline loves his job. He loves K-State and he loves sharing everything K-State related with Wildcat fans. Even when he’s not scheduled to work, he’s at every K-State event helping out K-StateHD.TV or simply soaking in the moment. 

“I think having my story be so deep, I probably get a little too overzealous with my work,” Moline laughed. “I can take any random men’s basketball game and make a motivational video for the team. The videos are probably a little too intense for some of the games, but the thing is, I have to make that moment big and make that moment special; it’s my goal in everything I do.

“My situation probably has led me to love my job more than I should,” he continued. “I’ve had two intense surgeries. I could have a problem tomorrow, and it could all be taken away again. I never want to miss out on an opportunity. I’ve missed out on too much not to try and capture everything, every moment.”


We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh-Stewart or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.