About STMA

STMA’s Mission

STMA advances professionalism in sports field management and safety through education, awareness programs, and industry development.

STMA’s Humble Beginnings and Proud Past

Because a few men believed that sports turf could be improved through the sharing of knowledge and the exchange of ideas, the Sports Turf Managers Association was officially formed in 1981.

The key leaders in the STMA’s infancy were Harry “Pops” Gill (deceased), Milwaukee County Stadium; Dr. William Daniel (deceased), Professor Emeritus, Purdue University; Dick Ericson, Minneapolis Metrodome, and George Toma (NFL).

After sharing the office, executive secretary and conference facilities of the National Institute of Parks & Grounds Management in Appleton, Wisconsin, for three years, the sixty STMA members decided to venture into independence in November 1984.

The Board of Directors, led by their newly elected President, David Frey, appointed the Association’s first Executive Director, Dr. Kent W. Kurtz, Professor of Turfgrass & Ornamental Horticulture at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. In 1985, the Association incorporated as a not­for­profit corporation and began a quarterly newsletter. STMA established a national office in Upland, California, during the spring of 1987. The first national conference in 1986 was held in conjunction with that of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of  America, as were the annual meetings in 1987 and 1988.

To view a timeline of STMA’s history, click here.