Tailgating has become such a huge part of the American football experience and is a staple in the lexicon of pop culture among sports fans. As someone who has attended several hundred college football games in over 100 stadiums, I have witnessed a dire need for visiting fans or local fans without a tailgate. You see them at every game you go to. The group of fans carrying around an 18-pack of beer or drinking bad booze and eating chips out of their trunk wishing they could get dialed into the social scene. Yeah, I have even been that guy once or twice, or maybe more times than I am willing to admit. Or, it is the group that flies in for the game, heads to the local Walmart and buys a bunch of provisions and apparatuses to have a rushed mediocre tailgate while sticking to themselves.
On the flip side, some of the best tailgate experiences I have ever had were when I was introduced to a local host via a friend and attended their all-inclusive hassle free tailgate. Additionally, I have connected numerous tailgaters in the same manner. It is an opportunity to share a mutual passion of football and tailgating with like-minded people.
It allows you as a visitor or a non-regular to really soak in the local flavor and atmosphere, and have a great experience. I have made life-long friends with a number of these hosts that I had first met in this fashion.
It is through these experiences that the idea for Tailgate Connect® was born. I wanted to create a vehicle that would easily connect like-minded fans to share in food and drink, stories and traditions and do so in a hassle-free environment.
Join us today and celebrate in one of America's favorite pastimes.
Meet the Team
Dan Donnelly, Founder
Dan is the founder and Editor of the Dan From the Tailgate (DFT) blog. Dan chronicles his weekly journeys which have taken him to over 100 stadiums and several hundred college and professional games. His goal of attending a game and tailgate at every FBS venue and major rivalry games at the lower divisions is nearing fruition. It was in his travels that Dan found the inspiration for Tailgate Connect,
witnessing first-hand the need and the subsequent opportunity we are addressing. Additionally, Dan has written for Tailgater Magazine, Stadium Journey Magazine and is a frequent contributor to numerous other tailgating and traveling websites and publications.
Dan is a graduate of Frostburg State University in Maryland where he was Captain of the Rugby Team. He earned his Master's in Business Administration at Oklahoma City University. Prior to entering the corporate world, Dan was a U.S. Army Officer obtaining the rank of First Lieutenant.
Dan resides in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.
Jim Devine, Controller
Jim has been in the resort hospitality business as a financial controller for 28 years. His experience involves startup incentive companies, opening new waterpark resorts and full service resort properties. He has worked in 5 states and 3 countries.
Jim is also a graduate of Frostburg State University where he was a 3 sport athlete.
His passion for sports continued with his 3 boys who he coached in football, baseball and basketball spanning 15 years.
Jim resides in Fox Lake, Illinois
Luke Lorick, VP of Promotions & Products
Luke is the founder of Tailgating Challenge, the largest online tailgating brand with a quarter of a million followers. He is a subject matter expert on tailgating gear in having personally reviewed over 700 items and counting. He also is the creator of three national days: Tailgating Day, Homegating Day and Yard Games Day.
Luke has written and been featured in Tailgater magazine and is a world record holder for longest backward cornhole toss. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (BS) and earned his MBA from Southern Wesleyan University.
Luke Lives by the motto: "Don't Hate, Just Tailgate
Luke resides in Loveland, CO
Grant Yeager, Director of Tech Ops
Grant currently resides in Bedford, TX.
Joe Rogers, VP of Operations
Joe shares the same passion for college football and tailgating as his partner which has led him to many of hallowed stadiums across the country. For nearly 28 years Joe coordinated sports programs for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at a maximum-security facility outside of Philadelphia where his basketball and football programs garnered national recognition,
and in 2002 he was recognized by the American Basketball Association for his work. A former college football writer for Bleacher Report and member of the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association, he is currently a Special Correspondent for Stadium Journey Magazine.
Joe is a graduate of the State University of New York Institute of Technology (currently S.U.N.Y. Polytechnic Institute), where he majored in Business & Public Management while lettering in basketball and baseball.
Joe resides in Savannah, Georgia
Ryan Lepper, Head of Business Developement
Ryan has been a passionate sports fan his whole life, having played organized sports since he was kid growing up on military bases around the world. After an injury sidelined his sports career as a youth, Ryan turned to the next best thing and began officiating intramural sports while attending the University of Texas at Austin. His officiating career includes high school basketball,
international soccer and national collegiate flag football; where he was honored as an All American in 1999. Ryan co-founded the Horn-Ball Texas Tailgaters in 1998 and opened his tailgate to the public in 2001. Voted one of the best tailgates in the nation, it’s been featured on multiple television shows, as well as dozens of print and online publications. As a destination tailgate who hosts nearly 12,000 people annually, Ryan knows what it takes to elevate the tailgating experience beyond the normal parking lot party.
Ryan is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and resides is Austin, Texas.
Michael McCabe, Intellectual Property Counsel
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. is the founding partner of McCabe Law LLC, where his practice focuses on intellectual property law. Michael is a registered patent attorney who has practiced in IP law for 25 years, with an emphasis on litigation, acquisition and licensing of patents, trademarks and copyrights. Michael also represents IP attorneys in professional discipline and
and licensing proceedings before the USPTO and the state and federal courts in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Michael is a frequent lecturer at IP conferences and is published nationally. He has served as an adjunct professor on design patent law at George Mason University School of Law and presently teaches patent law as a guest lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Michael is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, where he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and earned his law degree with high honors from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Prior to entering the legal profession, Michael worked as an aerospace engineer for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.