STMA introduces the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship

STMA and the SAFE Foundation would like to introduce the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship. As the association’s membership knows very well, Darian Daily was a role model within our industry as well as within his own family. A man with incredible work ethic, Darian showed strong support of the STMA and his peers. As Darian was a loving father, the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship is designed to help parents and guardians provide an education for their children.

Darian was the head sports field manager at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati when he died unexpectedly last at age 47. An STMA member for 20 years, he was a former STMA Board member and a Certified Sports Turf Manager. He received the Dick Ericson Founders Award in 2011 for his work at Paul Brown Stadium. The award is given annually to someone who plans and executes the sports turf management of their facility, who effectively leads their team to accomplish their goals in field maintenance, and who positively impacts the sports turf industry.

James Hlavaty, CSFM, Natural Grass Product Line Manager at Pioneer Athletics and friend of Darian’s for almost 20 years, can testify to Darian’s impact on the industry. “I think he touched so many people industry-wise, and fostered so many people. Whether they were new to the industry or young in the industry, he shared those experiences with them. There was never anyone he wouldn’t talk to and take the time with to share that knowledge.”

The Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship will be awarded each year in the amount of $2,500 each to two qualified individuals. Recipients must be currently enrolled or enrolling into a recognized college or university. This scholarship will support students who have chosen an academic field of study outside of the turfgrass industry. The parent or guardian of the recipient must be a current STMA member for the past 3 years, and must fill out an application and complete an essay outlining their child’s qualifications, along with sending in the student’s high school or most current college transcript.

STMA board member Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, said, “Darian was a great friend, colleague, sports turf manager, and foremost, a father. One of his lasting legacies will forever be the interest and time he invested in students. The SAFE Scholarship Committee was honored to help in the creation of the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship and hope this will embody the true spirit that Darian had as a parent and a mentor.”

To apply, the STMA Member must complete and submit the application form and supply a transcript, original essay and letter of acceptance no later than October 15. The application requests information regarding the student’s activities outside of school, academic distinctions or honors, and school-related activities the student has participated in. The essay prompt asks the STMA member, “What legacy do you want to leave your child and how has your career helped define that?” Members are asked to use specific examples detailing their relationship and how the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship could help them achieve that goal.

Eric Brown, Managing Director of Paul Brown Stadium, explains why Darian’s legacy is important: “He was a man who was not afraid to share everything he knew with anyone else in the industry. He thought it as a responsibility to train and teach younger people to make them better as they moved into the green industry.”

All applications must be submitted electronically to before October 15 to be eligible for the scholarship. The application can be found on the Scholarship Program page on STMA’s website,, under the Professionalism tab. Please reach out to STMA if you have any questions regarding the Darian Daily Legacy Scholarship. STMA and the SAFE Foundation are excited for the opportunity for Darian’s legacy to live on and help educate our next generation.

Tony Leonard, Director of Grounds at the Philadelphia Eagles and friend of Darian’s for 15 years, expressed the importance of such an honor. “I think he represents everything we all want to be. A great husband and father, he always wanted to be a great leader in our industry, and promote it as much as he could. It’s a tremendous honor and I can’t imagine this scholarship being dedicated to anyone else.”