December 2015

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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8 SportsTurf | December 2015 T he best compliment Amy Fouty, CSFM, could hope to receive as Michigan State University's sports turf manager came to her in the form of an unspoken vote of confidence. Six inches of snow had blanketed East Lansing during the days before MSU's Nov. 22, 2014 home football finale, and Fouty's crew worked around the clock to get the field in Spartan Stadium ready. With a major bowl bid hanging in the balance, it would have made sense for a detail-oriented coach like Mark Dantonio to call for updates on footing or anything else that could affect his game plan. "There was snow, ice, we plowed the field and we shoveled the stadium in single-digit-temperature condi- tions," Fouty said while sitting on bench overlooking 72,000-square feet of impeccably manicured turf in Spartan Stadium on a warm, sunny day. "It was an incredible undertaking and the hardest working week in my life." But the connection between Fouty and Dantonio's phones remained idle right up to kickoff. "I never got a call from the football office, so they weren't worried at all about what was going to be waiting here on Saturday for the team," Fouty said. "Personally, that meant the most to me of anything—not getting a call." Fouty and her crew's contribution to a 45-3 victory over Rutgers helped pro- pel the Spartans into the Cotton Bowl where they defeated Baylor to complete a fourth 11-or-more win season in 5 years and finish with a No. 5 ranking in the national polls. In her 11 years as the caretaker of MSU's sports fields, including competi- tion and practice, natural and artificial, Fouty has earned the trust of Spartan coaches through her innovation, dili- gence and leadership. "Amy and her staff do a tremendous job with the turf," Dantonio said. "This is like her baby, so there's never a ques- tion in my mind that she's going to do everything she can to make sure the turf is in a playable condition, and I really think we have one of the greatest fields in the country. I really don't worry about it because she's a perfectionist and that gives me great peace of mind. I've been that way since I've been here." Nevertheless, Fouty never took her role or the trust of Dantonio and MSU's other coaches placed in her for granted. FOUTY DELIVERS OFF-THE-FIELD VALUE TO MICHIGAN STATE FACILITY & OPERATIONS ■ BY STEVE GRINCZEL Michigan State's mascot, Sparty, enjoys an issue of SportsTurf.

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