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"We ensure the fields are safe and playable for all athletes involved in training or competition," explains Brian Gimbel, Grounds Superintendent for all of The Ohio State University's athletics fields. "As manager of all the outdoor varsity athletic facilities, the challenges and rewards of the job change depending on what season and which sports we are working with. We do what we can to make the teams competitive."
Gimbel manages the turf for each team and puts player safety first. "it is essential to keep the fields in perfect condition because it enhances performance and reduces injury to the players. Each sport, each facility has its own philosophy on what you're trying to achieve with it. That's what I find so exciting. The field care requirements change with each sport, but that's what keeps it interesting."
Field care priorities are often decided by weather conditions. "I have 10 or 12 Web sites bookmarked just for weather. We constantly have to be weighing priorities and deciding what's the most important thing to get done. Everything we do is tied to the weather." Gimbel enjoys working closely with his colleagues and student workers. "It is rewarding to see everyone pull together in a challenging situation, like clearing inches of snow off the football field on gameday."
An active member of The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA), The Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association (OSTMA), and The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF), Gimbel promotes the professionalism of the turfgrass science industry on a daily basis.