During a regional sports turf managers seminar hosted by the late Darien Daily in 2013 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, University of Tennessee turf pathologist Brandon Horvath, Ph.D., infamously quipped that he was pretty good at growing grass, but really excelled at killing it.
Such is the life of a turf pathologist - finding what kills turf and identifying steps and products to ultimately stop that from happening on test plots so turf managers can prevent the same from occurring in real world situations.
For his work at helping superintendents, sports turf managers and lawn care operators find solutions to disease challenges in turf, Horvath recently was named the recipient of the Dr. Tom Samples Turf Professional of the Year award.
For the past decade, Horvath has been a turf pathologist at the University of Tennessee. He will receive the award January 7 at the Tennessee Turfgrass Association Conference and Show in Murfreesboro.
His research efforts focus mainly on management and control of turfgrass diseases and the response of turfgrasses under biotic and abiotic stress.
The award is named in honor of Tom Samples, Ph.D., professor and turfgrass extension specialist at the University of Tennessee since 1985, the same year he earned a doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University. It is presented annually to someone who has made significant contributions to the turfgrass industry.
Previous recipients are: 2018, Bill Blackburn; 2017, Roger Frazier; 2016, Doug Ward; 2015, Paul Carter, CGCS; 2014, Greg Breeden; 2013, Joe Hill; 201; 2, Bobby Winstead; 2011, Dan Stump; 2010, James Brosnan, Ph.D.; 2009, Al Davis; 2008, Shelia Finney; 2007, Rodney Lingle; 2006, Alan Windham, Ph.D; 2005, Lynn and Cindy Ray; 2004, John Sorochan, Ph.D.; 2003, Jeff Rumph; 2000, David Green; 1999, Bob Campbell; 1998, Larry Shore; 1997, Andy Brennan; 1996Joe Kennedy; 1995, Jim Thomas; 1994, Dick Horton; 1993, Tom Samples, Ph.D.; 199; 2, David Stone; 1991, Lloyd Callahan, Ph.D.