Name:  Thurston Brewer

Title and Company:  Assistant Director, Athletic Turf & Grounds Management – University of Memphis Athletics

Hometown:  Des Moines, Iowa

Major and Graduation Date:  B.S. – Horticulture with an Emphasis in Turfgrass Management.  December 2004

Major Job/Position Responsibilities:  We are responsible for the upkeep of our Athletic complex which sits almost 75 acres.  This includes 15 acres of athletic fields, a 12 acre golf training complex and about 17 acres of common ground.  We have 3 natural and one artificial football practice fields, a soccer field, a track and field complex, as well as baseball and softball stadium fields.  Our golf complex is comprised of about 6 acres of fairway and a half acre of ultradwarf bermuda greens.  We oversee all aspects of turf maintenance including all cultural, fertility and pest management.  This includes game set up, field layout and painting, facility preparation and game management.

What you like most about your job/position:  I enjoy the wide variety of challenges put forth by all of the different sports.  Each sport has a different set of standards and expectations for their field/facility.

Moving south and having the ablility to maintain fields pretty much year round has been fun as well.  Bermuda in the summer and over seeding with rye in the winter is a fun process and it’s nice to always have green grass around, although the transition out of rye can be pretty depressing.

What advice would you give to current students:  When you are looking for internships and jobs out of school I would suggest not being motivated by money.  Find something you want to do and chase the “what” instead of the “how much”.  Realize that these facilities that we wok at are not here for us to make perfect fields, but for athletes to grow, develop, perfect their talent or just to have fun.  Don’t be a “stay off the grass” manager and realize the prize is in watching everyone else enjoy you creation.