I am the: Head of Grounds Operations

For the: Roncalli High School in Indianapolis

What field care product/piece of equipment could you not live without? I wouldn’t be able to complete my work without my workhorse, which is a Bobcat 3400 with a dump bed. This allows me to save time moving all over campus and makes me much more efficient at the different tasks at hand.

Complete this sentence: “If I weren’t a field care pro, I would be … ” working in the landscape field beautifying our world as much as possible.

What’s your favorite sports movie and why? “Rudy,” because I love the way he works hard and the reward he receives at the end of the movie.

What path led you to a career in sports field management? I’ve been in the green industry for more than 20 years, and I was lucky enough to find this position. Prior to this position I had little experience in the sports management field.

Jamie Dees

What types of fields and turf areas are you responsible for? I have three practice fields with turf-type tall fescue, softball and baseball fields with bluegrass, and a synthetic turf stadium.

What are the biggest challenges in maintaining the facility? The biggest challenge for me is time management. We have 40 acres total, with about 28 acres to maintain, and I have only three workers to do the work.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career? I think the most memorable moment is when people from Roncalli and visitors recognize how beautiful the campus and the fields are maintained.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the job? I have learned to stay more focused on daily duties, and planning jobs out that work both for me and the school.

How do you predict the sports field industry will evolve in the future? I think the sports field industry is and will continue to flourish in the years to come. There will always be a need for both natural grass and synthetic fields to play sports on.

What do you wish spectators/players/coaches knew about your job? I wish they knew about all the different things and hard work that go into making a field ready for play. I always try to let the coaches know or teach them different techniques that can help them sustain the quality and life of the fields.

What’s the most important quality required to be a successful field manager? The most important quality to have is the openness to new and/or old ways of doing different jobs with field maintenance. I also believe that you need to be able to work well with others and always be open to learning new things.

What advice would you give aspiring field managers? Stay with it! Keep learning and trying new technology on your field. There’s always a way to get the job done, whether new, old or different.

Who have been your biggest influences/mentors? I have three mentors: Dave Gervasio, business manager at Roncalli, for trusting me and giving me support. Dave Toner, athletic director at Roncalli, has years of experience and is willing to share his knowledge with me at any time. Tom Mahoney, grounds superintendent at Bishop Chatard High School, for all his advice on different situations we get into.