Welcome to AstroTurf
Since 1965, the AstroTurf brand has been driven by forward thinking ingenuity. Today AstroTurf continuously improves its system design to deliver playing surfaces with the most realistic, sport-specific performance, longest lasting durability, and sound player protection.
University of Washington Husky Stadium – AstroTurf Installation Time-lapse
AstroTurf 3D3 RootZone system installation at Husky Stadium, the “Greatest Setting” in college football.
Welcome to the Second Half of the AstroTurf Century!
Moscow, Idaho – The University of Idaho athletics program is getting a major upgrade in time for the start of the 2021 season. The school installed a high-performance turf system made by AstroTurf®, the leaders in playing surface innovation, at the outdoor east field...
Please join us for the next installment of AstroTurf’s “5 Minutes With” series. In this edition, we talk with AstroTurf’s National Director of Field Hockey Melissa Vassalotti Twist.
5 Minutes with Melissa Vassalotti Twist
Tell us about your start as a field hockey player
I started playing field hockey my freshman year of high school. Which is a little later than a lot of people start playing. But I quickly jumped right into it my freshman year of high school and absolutely fell in love with the sport. Then I worked my butt off to have the opportunity to be recruited by the University of Maryland. I ended up playing and winning three national championships as a Terrapin. It was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I call it my glory days.
And then you go into coaching, how was that?
After the University of Maryland, I went on to coach Division I hockey at Georgetown University and then American University where I learned a ton while there. It’s at Georgetown that I ended up getting my Master’s in sports industry management. Keeping involved in sports, not only through my playing experiences, but then also taking sports into my career.
I think a lot of athletes, they dream of being able to play in college and then to kind of take it one step further and win a national championship or win three national championships, it was something I had dreamed of. But to actually make it a reality is surreal, and a total dream come true.
I ended up coaching at Georgetown University and American University. So, I coached for five years at the college level before kind of getting into the business side of sports.
And it had to be great to stay connected to the sport after playing and coaching
Going from being an athlete and getting to be the one out the field to, learning every day, then to being on the other side of it as a coach was really neat.
I knew that once I had field hockey in my life, I knew that I always wanted to have field hockey and sports as a part of my life.
It was not a hard transition going from playing to coaching and then to this side of sports. It was something I always wanted to do. This is really the opportunity of a lifetime. I think everyone likes the idea of being involved in their sport after college. For me, being able to stay involved in the field hockey community which is near and dear to my heart is a total dream come true.
But then also to play a big role in the growth and development of the surface that all hockey players are playing on day in and day out, that aspect of it is surreal. It’s something that I absolutely love.
AstroTurf will be well represented at the Olympics…
AstroTurf is the surface when it comes to field hockey. When you think of AstroTurf at the highest level which would be out of the gates. The surface played at the Olympic games is an AstroTurf surface. We have our AstroTurf 12 and our Poligras surfaces that have been played on at the highest level, which is something we are really proud of.
AstroTurf, under the SportGroup, along with Polytan, we have been responsible for 10 out of 12 of the field hockey surfaces at the Olympic games which is something we hang our hats on and are extremely proud of and something no one else can say.
Tell us about learning from “Mr. AstroTurf”
Andy Belles is pivotal to the AstroTurf field hockey name. We would not be here today if it weren’t for Andy Belles. He played a big role in getting so many AstroTurf fields that are on the ground today. Making the product what it is today. Developing relationships with, it’s hard to say customers, because they are really friends and colleagues and family at this point. He played a big part in that. Andy took me under his wing a few years ago and really threw everything at me and taught me everything he knew turf, about field hockey turf, about the synthetic turf industry, about history of current fields and previous fields. He brought me in and allowed me to make connections and build relationships with people. He played a role in everything I know today about field hockey turf and for that I am indebted and forever grateful.
It’s really hard to go through a day talking about a hockey field or talking with a colleague or coach and not bringing up Andy’s name. I’ll be out to dinner with a coach and we’ll be talking about a field and when they installed their last field and sure enough there’s always a story and memory about Andy. He still brings us laughs. He is near and dear to my heart and AstroTurf’s heart. He was commonly referred to as “Mr. AstroTurf” and I think that name stands true. He truly was Mr. AstroTurf. He knew this brand and it was his passion and we’re so thankful to that.
The AstroTurf Difference
AstroTurf is you get what you came for. When you’re looking to build a turf field, everyone looks at wanting the best. And with AstroTurf you get the best from all levels. You get it from a safety standard and testing standpoint. You also get it from performance playability. Bringing all that together is really important. Because, again, you do have kids playing on this field of all ages. It’s so important to us that we can lay down a field that we feel comfortable walking away from it knowing that when kids come on the field, they are safe and getting the best surface and they are going to enjoy the surface. That they will get the playability they expect and want from a world-class surface and that’s what you’re getting with AstroTurf.
The 2020 football season was a year like none before. Filled with stops and starts and challenges never faced by colleges and coaching staffs, schools were faced to make tough decisions and navigate the uncertainty from week-to-week.
Still, the season was filled with great performances, amazing plays, and outstanding coaching. With the fall and spring seasons now finished and as we begin to count the days until the 2021 season, we are honored to announce the winners of the Football Scoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf. These awards are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football.
The finalists for each award were selected from nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic director personnel. The prior winners of the award then choose the winner from the list of finalists. If asked, most of the winners will tell you that this award means much more than others because it is chosen by their peers. Now in its 12th year, the Football Scoop Awards presented by AstroTurf has grown into a highly anticipated event within the football coaching profession. Awards are handed out to the winners at a reception during the American Football Coaches Association Convention each year.
This year’s winners include Offensive Coordinator of the Year, Steve Sarkisian of the University of Alabama. Defensive Coordinator of the Year, Mike Hankwitz, Northwestern; Special Teams Coordinators of the Year, Zac Alley and Winston Venable, Boise State; Quarterbacks Coach of the Year, Aaron Roderick, BYU; Running Backs Coach of the Year, Robert Gillespie, North Carolina; Wide Receivers Coach of the Year, Holmon Wiggins, Alabama; Offensive Line Coaches of the Year, Rob Sale and DJ Looney, Louisiana Lafayette; Defensive Line Coaches of the Year, Charlie Partridge; Linebackers Coach of the Year, Joe Gillespie, Tulsa; Defensive Backs Coaches of the Year, Perry Eliano and Colin Hitschler, Cincinnati; Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year, Chad Scott, Coastal Carolina; Football Operations Directors of the Year, Michael Hazel, Penn State and Will Glikison, Rutgers; FCS Coordinator of the Year, Ryan Carty, Sam Houston; NAIA Coordinator of the Year, Phil Kleckler; Director of Player Personnel, Lee Wilbanks, Indiana.
Football Scoop and AstroTurf are excited to partner together to present these well-deserved awards each year.
“It was amazing to see these coaching staffs adapt and adjust to the weekly challenges during the 2020 season,” said Chris Stephens, Communications Manager at AstroTurf. “I’m sure that it was impressive to see them work behind the scenes to have their players ready to go each week. It’s great to recognize these coaches and personnel each year, but especially this year.”
For more information about each individual award, please visit www.footballscoop.com
About Football Scoop
Created in 1999, FootballScoop.com is the premier source for coaching job information and has long been the most widely viewed website by coaches, athletic directors, strength & conditioning coaches, operations and equipment staff across America. As the leading coaching job information venue, FootballScoop.com serves our viewers’ needs by providing firsthand, timely & accurate information for our audience. FootballScoop.com is the premier provider of official job postings.
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s newly redesigned website at www.astroturf.com.
The Liberty Flames Hold onto Their Record for the Highest Number of AstroTurf® Athletic Fields in the U.S.
Lynchburg, VA 1 – Liberty University is undergoing a major athletic field upgrade in June, providing all of the school’s athletes with best-in-class playing surfaces made by the leader in synthetic turf innovation, AstroTurf®. This summer, the practice football field, baseball field, and softball field are all receiving new turf installations. Also, Liberty is expanding four recreational fields and upgrading the turf with one of AstroTurf’s most popular products, the RootZone 3D3 Blend system.
This is a monumental decision because it gives all of the school’s athletes, including those competing on Liberty’s NCAA Division 1 teams and intramural players, the best of the best in playing surface technology.
AstroTurf® products are recognized worldwide for their durability, safety, and performance. Integrating advanced engineering and superior construction, AstroTurf® fields feature grass-like traction and incredible stability, enabling athletes to play with confidence.
While there are numerous colleges, universities, and high schools across the country that feature AstroTurf® products, and many that have two or even three, Liberty University has over one dozen, including four indoor Laykold courts at the Crosswhite Athletic Club and an impressive collection of high-performance fields.
Williams Stadium, home to the school’s football program, received a new AstroTurf® RootZone 3D3 Blend system in 2015. Liberty’s football team competes in the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision as an independent and is the first Big South school to win 5 consecutive Sasser Cups.
The Liberty Indoor Practice Facility, a stunning athletic facility featuring 70-foot high ceilings, also features a RootZone 3D3 Series turf, as does Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium. Kamphuis Field has been recognized as one of the top collegiate facilities since its opening in 2015.
That’s not all. The men’s and women’s NCAA Division 1 lacrosse and field hockey teams all practice and compete on AstroTurf®. Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium, which opened in 2013, features AstroTurf’s Diamond Series Baseball Turf. Even the batting cages have an AstroTurf® playing surface.
Equipped with the best playing fields, the Liberty University Athletics programs have always thrived. The school is a member of the ASUN Conference for 17 of 20 varsity sports. The football team, coached by Hugh Freeze, won the Cure Bowl in 2019 and is looking forward to a promising 2021 season. The Flames return 10 out of 11 starters and have brought on an explosive player, former Utah running back T.J. Green.
Several of Liberty’s baseball players have been drafted by Major League Baseball, and the team made it all the way to the NCAA Division 1 regional tournament finals in 2013. In softball this year, the Lady Flames clinched the regular-season conference title with a three-game sweep, and the baseball team went on a 13-game winning streak and has gone five to three against ACC competition.
Overall, Liberty Athletics earned its highest number of ASUN Conference crowns in 2021, taking titles in Men’s Indoor Track & Field, Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Golf, and Men’s Tennis.
“AstroTurf’s product is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to maintain,” said Brian Hinkley, Liberty’s assistant director of grounds for athletics facilities. “They communicate and provide excellent service.”
With these new AstroTurf® installations and field upgrades, Liberty University continues to provide its student-athletes with high-performance playing surfaces and to send a message that they are 100 percent supported by the school.
For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport, and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams, and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.