AMES (ISU) — The natural green turf of Jack Trice Stadium has been named the 2012 College Football Field of the Year by the SportsTurf Managers Association (STMA). A panel of 11 judges independently scored each football field entry nationally. The judges considered the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces, innovative solutions employed, effective use of budget, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sound agronomic program.
“It’s always good to be recognized by your peers,” athletics turf grounds manager Tim VanLoo said. “It is also quite humbling.”
The Jack Trice Stadium field turf is a favorite with Iowa State football players and their opponents.
“We try to make it the most consistent playing surface we can so our athletes will know what they get each time on the field,” VanLoo said. “Most of that work comes from late April to late July. We are constantly cultivating that soil that we have water moving through it without having any water on top. If we have water holding on top we have slippery conditions. We want to have as deep and consistent rooting as we can.”
VanLoo oversees an operation of Iowa State students, who are pursuing an education in turf management.
“Our program is unique,” Van Loo said. “I’m the only full-time person on the field. We have five Iowa state students in the summer that help do all our fields and in the fall we ramp up to eight students. Most of our students are trying to start a career in turf management.”