Dan the Tennis-Playing, Good-Doing Man

Meet Dan Cardiff, first year Child Development Major, member of the Cal Poly Tennis Team, and aspiring philanthropist. Read on to learn more about this quirky cutie, but be warned, you just might find yourself crushing before you can say "Big Foot."

Hometown: Lafayette, CA     

Year: 1st

Major: Child Development

Relationship Status: Single

Campus Involvement: Tennis, Block P



What do you like you like to do in your (precious) free time?

I like to yell at my roommate, Cody, when he raps (laughs). I enjoy food, all types, and any type of music that was produced before the year 1980. My favorite is Led Zeppelin. We could talk about my less manly music taste…I like “I Want Crazy” by Hunter Hayes. And the song “Rather Be” (by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne). It’s my guilty pleasure.

What is your favorite spot in SLO?

My favorite spot in SLO has to be the ridge above the P at night. The better the moon looks, the better the time is!

Describe your perfect date!

My perfect date would be swinging by the girl…uh woman…uh lady…swinging by her house in my car, Bob Seger, to pick her up. We would drive to Grizzly Peak in Berkeley while listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered.” Then, at Grizzly Peak, we would talk about life and similar interests and other gooey things like that. And then drive down to Rick and Anne’s in Berkeley, enjoy some mac and cheese and pumpkin pie, and maybe get some whipped cream on our noses.

What is something most people don't know/wouldn't expect about you?

I love cats. I had a cat when I was younger; he was my best friend. If someone sends me a funny cat video I will instantly befriend them.

If a movie were produced about your life, what genre would it be and what actor would play you?

Oh man…I would say a romantic comedy…and I would be played by Josh Radnor.

What do you hope to do after Cal Poly?

After Cal Poly, I would like to work for a nonprofit, or possibly start one, that involves teaching kids how to be responsible and use skills acquired in the classroom and in sports and apply them to their personal life. In high school, I volunteered at a similar place that was like “tutoring and tennis”. It was cool to see the impact [the program] had on [the kid’s] personal lives.

So far, what have you learned at Cal Poly that surprised you?

One thing I have learned is that it seems like in life, you don't need tons of friends. You should only have a handful because in high school, you see all these people who are friends, but you go to college and you find out who your friends really are. I guess it’s probably the same in life. It’s kind of a good thing. If you don't have all the friends in the world, that's okay. You only need a certain number. Whatever amount suits you…1, 2 or 4, it doesn't matter. You can have just one best friend and be good.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh, man…probably chocolate-covered pretzels. I’d get diabetes for sure, but it would be worth it. More than worth it.

What is your favorite thing about Cal Poly?

I like how everyone is pretty friendly. If you’re walking to class and you see someone you maybe haven’t seen before, they'll flash a smile at you. If you see someone from a class around campus that you maybe haven’t talked to before, or maybe you have, you’ll say, “hi!” and maybe even strike up a conversation, just ‘cause. I think that's kinda neat.

Do you believe in Big Foot?

Yeah! I am very superstitious. And you never know, really. I mean, there’s no proof that there’s no Big Foot, right? (laughs)

What songs would be included on the soundtrack of your life?

“Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson… and Justin Timberlake. I like his version too.

“Rapper’s Delight” by Sugarhill Gang. I know and can rap the long version. All 14 minutes.

“Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zepellin. The best.

“Love’s Holiday” by Earth Wind and Fire

“Classic” by MKTO

To what extent did tennis influence your decision to attend Cal Poly?

Tennis helped me get in. I visited 12th grade in the fall and committed two weeks later. I had other choices…it’s awesome here. It's a great school, very competitive. I thrive off the competition. Not just in sports, but in academics. You’re a student-athlete…not an athlete-student, you know?

Is it difficult to balance academics and tennis?

It’s really hard. You have to not waste any time. When you do get behind, it’s hard to catch up. It requires a lot of energy…and rest. Rest is just important as practice or going to class. If you fall behind, you can’t recover.

How often do you practice for tennis?

Six days a week, sometimes seven if we need extra. The seventh day will be a captains’ or solo practice.

Tell us about Block P!

Block P is the student athlete advisory board that communicates with the athletic director and administration of the school about ways to improve not only life here for student athletes, but for the whole school. Were involved in the building of the new UU…some of the people in Block P are participating in focus groups. It's a way to bring student athletes and the student body together.

How did you get involved in Block P?

Actually, one of my captains texted me unable to go to the first meeting and asked me to go for him. It was really fun and I liked everyone there. It was cool to be able to reach out to the community and get involved in philanthropy. Right now, we’re doing a coin drive for kids around the world who are in need of surgery, but may not be able to afford it (through Cure SLO). So, if you want to help out with that…(smiles).

If you would like to donate to Cure SLO (via Block P) and support their efforts to provide medical care to those in need, keep your eyes out for athletes with donation jars at Cal Poly Sporting Events and Thursdays at Downtown Farmer’s Market.

To learn more about the cause, visit https://cure.org/c/calpoly/.