The Toro Co. announced this week that Sean McLaughlin is the winner of its annual Toro Super Bowl Sports Turfgrass Training Program and will help prepare the field at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
McLaughlin is a plant science major at California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona) and is scheduled to graduate from Cal Poly Pomona and Mount San Antonio College in May 2017.
“I learned about the internship a little bit past the deadline last year, and was extremely excited to enter it this year,” McLaughlin said. “Having the opportunity to work alongside legends like George Toma and Ed Mangan for the game of games is an indescribable feeling. I’m really looking forward to taking it all in and learning everything I can during my time there.”
Toro has partnered with the National Football League since 1967 to provide the equipment and expertise needed to prepare the field for the biggest professional football game of the year. In 2002, Toro and the NFL created the Super Bowl Sports Turfgrass Training Program.
Established to recognize one student who has shown outstanding leadership in turfgrass management, the program encourages students to further grow their knowledge by working with the grounds crew for this game.
McLaughlin will assist with turfgrass maintenance, logo painting, field preparation for media day, halftime preparation and field clean-up alongside NFL field director Ed Mangan, George Toma and the Super Bowl grounds crew.
To be considered for the program, applicants had to complete an extensive entry process. Candidates had to be enrolled in at least the second year of a two-year turfgrass program or be a junior in a four-year turfgrass program, as well as submit a 500-word typed essay, reference and resume.
“An opportunity like this only comes around once,” said Dale Getz, CSFM, sports fields and grounds sales manager at Toro. “Students within the turfgrass industry have benefited from Toro’s partnership with the NFL for the past 15 years, and Toro is pleased to support and aide in the development of future turfgrass professionals.”