(LAWRENCE, Kan.) – Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the professional association for 2,700 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide who are critical to the safety of athletes and coaches – awards its 2020 “Field of the Year” winners.
Every year, STMA presents the industry’s highest honors to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools (K-12), and parks and recreation levels. The 2020 winners are featured below:
Baseball – Smokies Stadium (Sevierville, Tenn.): Eric Taylor, Head Groundskeeper Soccer – New York Red Bulls Academy Field (Whippany, N.J.): Zach Holm, CSFM, Manager, RBTF Operations
College and University
Football – Bobby Bowden Field at Florida State University (Tallahasse, Fla.): Chris Denson, CSFM, Athletic Turf Superintendent
Schools and Parks
Baseball – Ray Cipperly Field at Middlesex County Vo-Tech School District (East Brunswick, N.J.): Keith Fisher, Grounds Foreman Football – Walsh Field at Pace Academy Riverview Sports Complex (Mableton, Ga.): Daniel Prince, Sports Complex Facility Manager
“2020 has been a trying year for everyone, and sports field managers were forced to adapt and find innovative ways to ensure high-quality field conditions for all athletes,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “Each of our winners displayed a commitment to excellence while upholding the unwavering commitment of STMA members to field safety and playability.”
A panel of 14 judges independently scored entries based on playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program. Judges may not award a field in each category. Winners will receive a plaque, be recognized at the virtual STMA annual Awards Banquet, and featured in a 2021 issue of SportsField Management, the official monthly publication of STMA.