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