Grounds / Turf Supervisor
Minnesota State University / Mankato

MPSTMA Director / General Member Representative

When you started your job how did you come to understand all aspects of the industry?  

A lot of the information is not in the books. So you learn by your mistakes, hopefully the mistakes are minor.

What experiences in your career prepared you to take over leadership of the MPSTMA? 
I have participated in golf related Board Meetings. Watching the way things occur helps me understand the
ins and outs of the business.

What are your current responsibilities at the Minnesota State University / Mankato? My duties include, maintaining 300 acres in a campus setting. These responsibilities include: landscaping, snow removal (lots, walkways, roads) 60 acres of campus turf, 30 acres of sports turf (athletics/campus rec) and equipment maintenance.

How did you first become involved in sports turf management and how did you first become involved with MPSTMA?  I have been in sports turf and a member since 2011. Previously, I was in the golf industry.

How has your career benefitted from being a member of MPSTMA? Meeting other members, networking and gathering information about our industry problems and solutions. 

What specific challenges do turf managers at the college level face that differ from your peers in other management categories? We are held to higher standards for safety and playability. Our season's are longer than High School's and our fields are used for recruiting purposes for perspective athletics.

What are your passions and interests outside of work?
Playing golf, family activity and relaxing.

Qualifications and Awards?
Turf Grass Management Degree; 2013 STMA Field of the Year, and 2018 Pioneer Athletics Field of Excellence Award.

What are the biggest issues facing the MPSTMA today? Water, chemical, fertilizer abuse. Lack of proper instructions at certain level of professional setting .

What are the most important changes you’ve seen in sports turf management over your time with sports turf management?  Better equipment, more educated people, more awareness of the environment.

If you watch old footage from NFL Films what memories are stirred up when you see some of the turf situations from 'back in the day'?
The flame throwing push cart machine at the old Met.

You know a lot of sports turf managers. What are they saying are the biggest obstacles to overcome for them to be successful today?
  Lack of necessary funds to do the job the right way, and the right work environment.

How has social media impacted your work?
Twitter is a great resource for better ideas and networking with new peers.

What’s your favorite on-field maintenance task that you still enjoy performing? Walking the fields, determining how your maintenance programs are working.

How do you think the profession and industry will change in the next 10 years? Environment issues, better products, machines and the care people have.

How has your career benefitted from being a member of MPSTMA?
Networking, problem solving.

Every soccer pitch in the USA has wear in the goalmouths. Any advice for those at park & rec or school levels on keeping turf growing there?
If possible, move the nets back in forth, shorten the fields, lot of seed banking, proper water, fertilizers, aeration and top dressing. We push mow and cover the goals with growth blankets as needed.

How do you think the natural turf vs. synthetic turf issue will play out over the next decade? 
The industry needs both in the system. Funds and lack of education play a big part in the decision on what type of surface to maintain

What changes if any are you considering or implementing this year?
Better use of soft goods, water management and better awareness of the workers' abilities.

What specific job responsibilities do find most enjoyable?  Happy crew, work load completed daily.

Who would be included at the table if you could dine with anyone, living or dead?
 Father and Phil Mickelson.

How has the MPSTMA impacted your career?
 It has made more people aware of our craft and how dedicated we can be at our profession.

How do you think the STMA should approach the increasing number of synthetic turf fields being built?
  Education, how to use and proper maintain the field.