Hall Of Fame Inductees


The individuals nominated should have made a significant impact or positive influence that assures the future of our industry in the lives of generations to come.


Once nominated, an individual’s biography and photo are updated on the site, and he or she is placed in the polls for voting. At the end of the year the committee takes into consideration the votes and decides which candidates are inducted.


Those with a star (*) next to their name below were either inducted posthumously or have passed away since being inducted.


Nomination Qualifications

  • Person with integrity and passion
  • Minimum 20 years in industry
  • Someone who has developed  or invented  new technology
  • Has made contributions that resulted in change
  • Contributed to mankind’s needs in his field
  • Provided education and encouragement  with self-sacrifice
  • Changed the industry

Steve Wightman

Steve has managed sports fields for over 39 years (3 years at the recreational level and his last 36 years at the professional level) before retiring in March 2012.

After earning a B.S. Degree in Marketing and Finance in 1971 from the University of Northern Colorado Steve pursued a banking career in Tucson, AZ.  However, in 1973 after 1 ½ years, he discovered that being outdoors was where his passion lay and moved back to Denver to become the new Manager of Ball field Maintenance for the City and County of Denver - Parks and Recreation Department.  There, he oversaw the installation and maintenance of over 250 recreational ballfields within the City and County of Denver.

It was here that Steve began learning and honing his skills in sports field management.  While utilizing his formal education in budgeting, planning and personnel management he sought out Dr. Jackie Butler (one of his mentors) from nearby Colorado State University to learn the scientific side of sports field management.  Steve completely reorganized Denver’s Ball field Maintenance Program into a successful more cost effective part of the Parks and Recreation Department.

In July of 1976 Steve became the Head Grounds keeper at Denver’s Mile High Stadium taking over the management of the playing field for the Denver Broncos, the Denver Bears (AAA minor-league baseball team) and numerous other sporting and non-sporting events held at Denver’s premier sports venue.  Under Steve’s tenure the game field at Mile High Stadium was consistently well received and applauded by NFL and professional baseball players alike.

In December 1988 Steve became the Field Manager at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium (later named Qualcomm Stadium) home of the San Diego Chargers, San Diego Padres, San Diego State University Aztecs (football) and numerous other sporting and non-sporting events.  During a majority of Steve’s tenure, Jack Murphy Stadium was the busiest professional stadium in the country hosting over 200 field events each year.  That distinction dissolved in 2004 when the Padres moved into the new baseball stadium in downtown San Diego.

During his career Steve has prepared fields for numerous high profile national and international sporting events:

  • 1992 Baseball All-Star Game – Jack Murphy Stadium – San Diego, CA
  • 1994 World Cup Soccer – Rose Bowl – Pasadena, CA
  • 1998 Super Bowl – Jack Murphy Stadium – San Diego, CA
  • 1998 World Series – Jack Murphy Stadium – Sand Diego, CA
  • 2003 Super Bowl – Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, CA
  • Numerous Playoff and Championship Games

Steve has been actively involved in the sports turf industry throughout his career:

  • Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – Member 1978 - Present (President 1984-1986)
  • San Diego Chapter – Sports Turf Managers Association (SoCal-STMA) - Member
  • San Diego Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association (SDGCSA) – Member 1989-Present
  • Cuyamaca College – Adjunct Faculty - Golf Course & Sports Turf Management (1990-2000)
  • Grossmont/Cuyamaca Community College District Advisory Board – 1994-1996 (President 1996)
  • Cuyamaca College Curriculum Advisory Committee – 1995-2000
  • Authored numerous articles and presentations on Sports Field Management
  • Consulted on numerous recreational, collegiate and professional sports fields