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Nov. 25, 2003

CHARLOTTESVILLE – The University of Virginia is the recipient of the 2003 University Sports Field Complex of the Year Award as determined by the Sports Turf Manager’s Association. The Sports Turf Manager’s Association is the same professional organization that recognized Virginia’s David A. Harrison III Field as the University Football Field of the Year in 2001.

“The University of Virginia athletics department has embarked on an aggressive campaign to be one of the best, if not the best, college sports programs in the country,” said Jimmy Rodgers, UVa’s sports field manager. “We have adopted a motto that clarifies our intent – ‘Uncompromised Excellence.’ Over the past two decades our administration has spent its money wisely on building excellent field foundations, and I’m currently provided with the operational support to maintain our sports turf to meet our coaches’ expectations. I am extremely honored that we’ve received this award, and only hope it supports and complements the department’s overall goals.”

This is the first year for the University Sports Field Complex of the Year Award.Among the criteria used to determine the award recipient were that a minimum of three fields be included in the complex and that the fields host a minimum of three different sports. Virginia’s field complex includes the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium; Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium; Kl?ckner Stadium; and the artificial turf field behind University Hall.

Among other things considered in determining the award recipient wereinformation on the design of the athletic fields, the uses of the fields that impacted the playing surfaces, the organization of the maintenance program and innovative solutions used to overcome playing surface problems. Photos of specific areas of each of the fields were also provided to document the playability and appearance of the playing surfaces.

Each of the five judges on the association’s awards committee reviewed the entrants independently, grading them on each aspect of the criteria. The results of the independent input of the five judges determined the winning field complex. The commitment to excellence in overall field quality, safety, playability and appearance throughout the athletic field program enabled Virginia to earn the award.

“Our field staff of Jimmy Rodgers, Scott Anderson, Tracy Burge, Henry Shifflett and Daniel Thompson has been extraordinary,” said Jason Bauman, associate director of athletics for facilities and operations at UVa. “Their willingness to get a variety of things done, conducting themselves in a first-class manner, understanding the changing landscape and demands, and their commitment to the whole athletics program is deserving of this recognition. This award is the result of an effort that gives a sense of real pride to our staff. We don’t have all the equipment or resources it takes to make this easy, but we do have a great group of people who are making it happen, and a great sports field manager as a leader in Jimmy Rodgers.”

The Sports Turf Managers Association is the professional association for sports turf managers from around the world. The award will be presented at a banquet on Jan. 23, 2004, during the association’s annual conference in San Diego, Calif.

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