What field care product/piece of equipment could you not live without? Without our aerator, we wouldn’t be able to achieve a safe and consistent pitch throughout the year. We need to have the pitch playing the same for each match, no matter if we’ve just hosted a concert, football game or other event. Our two most-oftenused pieces of equipment are our Toro ProCore 864 and our Imants Shockwave. We also use the Koro Recycling Dresser, when time allows. We aerate some part of the field every week.
Complete this sentence: “If I weren’t a field care pro, I would be …” An athletic trainer. Sports medicine was my major as a freshman, but I switched to turf management my sophomore year.
What path led you to a career in sports turf? I’ve always had a passion for sports and the outdoors. During my sophomore year at Texas A&M, I started as a student worker on the fields. I knew then that I wanted to make sports turf my career.
What types of fields and turf areas are you responsible for? I have 5 acres of turf, which consist of the Toyota Stadium pitch and the first team’s training pitch. The stadium features Latitude 36 bermudagrass, while the training pitch features Tifway 419 (with some Latitude 36 in the goal areas). We overseed both fields with a perennial ryegrass every fall.
What are the biggest challenges in maintaining your facility? The weather, as it plays an important part in everything we do. With short windows between events to perform our maintenance, we need the weather to be on our side.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the job? Everyone makes mistakes; learn from them and have them make you a better turf manager.
How do you predict the sports turf industry will evolve in the future? We collect data on our fields so that we can provide a consistent playing surface all year and have a better understanding of our maintenance practices. With new technology and information available to us, there’s no reason we can’t provide our athletes with top-quality natural grass fields in any situation.
What advice would you give aspiring field managers? Be open minded to new ideas and technology.
Describe the sports turf industry in one word. Changing.
Who have been your biggest influences/mentors? My dad and granddad. Growing up on a small farm in East Texas, I learned the values of respect for others and hard work from a young age.