I am the … Athletic Fields Supervisor

For the … University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

What field care product/piece of equipment could you not live without? Our well-designed and maintained irrigation systems here in the desert-like Southwest.

Complete this sentence: “If I weren’t a field care pro, I would be …” Still maintaining landscapes and trying to make turf areas look as good as they do on a baseball field.

What’s your favorite sports movie and why? “Hoosiers.” I love to see the little guys beat the big dogs.A9376_1

What path led you to a career in sports field management? I majored in turfgrass science at Iowa State University. In the past, I’ve worked in lawn care and also have done teaching, research and maintenance at a college and a university. But I found I enjoyed turf and field maintenance the most.

What types of fields and turf areas are you responsible for? We maintain soccer, baseball, softball and track playing fields; football and soccer practice fields; and turf and landscape areas around the seven athletic complexes on campus.

What are the biggest challenges in maintaining the facility? The ever-shrinking budget and the size of our crew (three full-time employees, counting me).

What has been the most memorable moment of your career? Moving from managing turfgrass campus-wide to managing exclusively the UNLV athletic complex.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the job? Athletic fields don’t respond to the date on the calendar, but do respond to changes in the weather from season to season and from year to year.

How do you predict the sports field industry will evolve in the future? Sports field managers will have to continue to make all the necessary improvements to their fields while also continuing to fight for each addition to their budgets.

What do you wish spectators/players/coaches knew about your job? It’s much more involved than mowing grass and watching it grow.

What is the most important quality required to be a successful field manager? Work hard and learn from both your successes and failures.

What advice would you give aspiring field managers? Learn everything you can in whatever you’re doing.

Who have been your biggest influences/mentors? My parents and grandparents influenced me most by instilling in me the value of working hard toward your goals and also enjoying what you do.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO Q&A? Send us your recommendation! Email Editor in Chief Robert Meyer at rmeyer@grandviewmedia.com.