Pioneer Athletics

  1. Nicole Sherry

    Nicole Sherry
    Head Groundskeeper // Baltimore Orioles
    2023 Class of Pioneers in the Field

    “I’m done thinking I don’t deserve to be here.” A game time decision that changed the course of Nicole Sherry’s career. 

    Sherry is the Head Groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles and has cemented herself as a leader, innovator and trailblazer over the past 20 plus years in the sports turf industry. 

    As only one of two women in an MLB Head Groundskeeper position, Sherry said imposter syndrome

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  2. Gerardo Flores

    Gerardo Flores
    Academy Director // Daphne Rangers Academy
    2023 Class of Pioneers in the Field

    “I was doing everything and anything to stay in the game.” 

    Today, Gerardo Flores seems to have cracked the code on how to stay in the game after hanging up your cleats as an athlete. His “game” has evolved into a love for coaching, engaging the community and a little bit of field maintenance on the side. Coach G, as he’s fondly known, is the Director of Club Development at Village Park in Daphne Alabama and Director of Coaching for Daphne Ranges Academy. Since 2013, he’s played a role in building a soccer club from scratch in his community while discovering a love for building soccer fields

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  3. Nick Rozdilski

    Nick Rozdilski
    Senior Director of Field Operations // Round Rock Express
    2023 Class of Pioneers in the Field

    Photo Credits Round Rock Express

    Nick Rozdilski’s elevator pitch for choosing a career in turf is a testament to the career he’s built over the past 20 years as a sports turf professional. Rozdilski is speaking from first-hand experience when he says that the sports turf industry is a place where you constantly have the opportunity to reinvent yourself, an industry that can take you all over the world, and an industry where you not only grow grass, but where you can grow as a leader,

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  4. Kevin McCaffrey

    Kevin McCaffrey
    Athletic Turf Management Teacher // Corona Del Mar High School
    2023 Class of Pioneers in the Field

    Many career paths are straight and narrow. Step one, excel in high school. Step two, get accepted into a college. Step three, put in four to six years of schooling. Step four, take an internship. Step five, graduate and start that first gig at the bottom of the ladder. The sports turf industry is unique in a number of ways, including its various points of access. 

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  5. Ken Mrock

    Ken Mrock
    Head Groundskeeper // Chicago Bears
    2023 Class of Pioneers in the Field

    To have a career spanning over four decades in the turf industry is a great accomplishment. To have 37 years of that career be with one organization is a feat admired by all. To be that organization’s first and only official head groundskeeper puts you in a class of your own. 

    Ken Mrock has been the Head Groundskeeper for the Chicago Bears since 1987, being the first full-time groundskeeper the football club ever hired. When we asked

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  6. Allen Reed

    Allen Reed
    Director of Stadium Grounds // FC Dallas
    2023 Class of Pioneers in the Field

    “How has the industry changed since you started over 20 years ago?” Allen Reed’s response? Laughter. Reed, Director of Stadium Grounds for FC Dallas, said that’s the only appropriate way to respond to that question after almost everything has changed or evolved in the sports turf industry in the past two decades. The role of the groundskeeper, the demand of the job, the data, the tools and the reward, all have new meaning today. 

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  7. Turf Programs Panel Discussion: Groundskeeper Chat with Drew Miller, Kevin McCaffrey and Josh Bratovich

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  8. Coaches/Field Manager Relations Guide

    Coaches/Field Manager Relations Guide
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  9. Coaches/Field Manager Relations: Tommy and Todd from Quinlan ISD

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  10. Coaches/Field Manager Relations: Tyler and Beth from Vanderbilt University

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