Toro Turfgrass Training Program winner joined grounds crew at Super Bowl LIII

By Sarah Bunyea

Wilson Morgan helped prepare the field for the country’s biggest sporting event of the year.

George Toma (left) and Wilson Morgan (right)
Photo courtesy of Toro

As the winner of the 2019 Toro Super Bowl Sports Turfgrass Training Program, Wilson Morgan, a student at Auburn University majoring in crop, soil and environmental sciences, had the opportunity to work alongside the grounds crew in field preparations for Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

In an article by Stephen Lanzi in The Auburn Plainsman, the surrealness of the game began to sink in for Morgan as celebrities and sports icons passed him right and left at the country’s biggest sporting event of the year.

Morgan says that there’s a lot of work that goes into it. He headed to Atlanta on Sunday, Jan. 27, a full week ahead of the actual game, to work with the grounds crew in preparation and rehearsal in the lead-up to the game. The rest of the crew had been in Atlanta since Jan. 9 preparing for the event.

During the week, Morgan got hands-on experience with halftime preparation, turf lining, logo painting, irrigation maintenance and preparation for media day.

In the article, Morgan says it’s almost like a show in itself to see the ground screw work together. He had the opportunity to work with Ed Mangan, Super Bowl field director, and George Toma, who has been on the grounds crew for each of the 52 Super Bowls.

In the article, Morgan said he learned a lot and that working with the grounds crew was one of the best weeks of his life.

Morgan plans to graduate from Auburn University in the spring of 2020. He is currently a member of the grounds crew for Auburn University and has been responsible for helping maintain all athletic fields on campus. Morgan also interned with the Miami Dolphins grounds crew at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, during the summer of 2018.

This summer, Morgan will be interning with the Philadelphia Phillies.