Penn State Grad Turfmaster for Red Bulls
Penn State grad Dan Shemesh has been named Director of Grounds for Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls. Shemesh graduated in 2003 from the College of Agricultural Sciences with a degree in Turfgrass Management, which covers both the scientific study of grass and also the business side, like running athletic complexes or a golf course. Basically, the Turf School grads are the biggest grass gurus this side of the Mississippi. Except maybe Willie Nelson.
Shemesh will head all operations pertaining to both the field at Red Bull Arena, set to open this year, which is one of the few, new soccer-specific stadiums in the U.S. He will also be in charge of the planned massive six-field training facility. The field surface of the Arena is a natural Kentucky Bluegrass, as opposed to artificial AstroTurf or FieldTurf surfaces that seem to be the prevailing trend with newly-constructed as well as existing stadiums. The team played in Giants Stadium through the end of the 2009 season.
Shemesh has already racked up an impressive résumé to this point. Not only has he served for the past seven years as the Sports Field Director for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he has also worked for the Phillies and the denizens of Gillette Stadium, the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.
So maybe this will give you all a reason to actually watch the oft-neglected MLS for once.