The Toro Company has announced this year’s winner of the annual Toro Super Bowl* Sports Turfgrass Training Program. Blake Bernstein, a sports turf management major at Mount San Antonio College, was selected and will be on hand at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Super Bowl LII to assist the grounds crew in field preparations.
Since 1967, Toro has partnered with the National Football League (NFL) to provide equipment and expertise to help prepare the game field and multiple practice fields leading up to the biggest professional football game of the year. Developed to recognize one student who has shown exemplary leadership in turfgrass management, the program encourages emerging professionals to further grow their knowledge base by assisting the grounds crew for this high-profile game. Bernstein will work alongside NFL field director Ed Mangan, George Toma and the Super Bowl grounds crew at U.S. Bank Stadium on turfgrass maintenance, logo painting, field preparation for media day, halftime preparation and field cleanup.
“Sports have been a passion for me my entire life,” said Bernstein. “I consider myself incredibly lucky to work in this environment on a daily basis. Being able to help prepare the field for the biggest game in football is just an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to be on site helping out, learning and taking it all in.”
Bernstein plans to graduate from Mount San Antonio College in 2018. He currently holds positions on the grounds crew at several facilities including Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home of the Los Angeles Rams and USC Trojans; and, the UCLA baseball facilities. Additionally, Bernstein is the director of procurement, cultivation and design at the Bishop Gooden Center in Pasadena, California. Bernstein also holds a degree in business from Arizona State University.
To be considered for the program, entrants had to undergo a comprehensive application process. Due to Bernstein’s ongoing success in school, his various grounds positions at a variety of facilities and his ambition to pursue a career in turfgrass management, he was selected from a large pool of talented candidates. Applicants must be enrolled in at least the second year of a two-year turfgrass program, or in at least the junior year of a four-year turfgrass program.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to a student who has dedicated their education and future career to turfgrass management,” says Boyd Montgomery, CSE, CSFM, regional business manager at Toro. “Blake continues an excellent tradition of having driven, passionate students working alongside some of the best in the industry to refine their craft on a global stage during the biggest game in football.”
Since 2003, Toro and the NFL have provided this opportunity for students in the field of turfgrass management.