“Groundbreaking” Work Recognized

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Provided by Prince William County

Congratulations to Andrew “Drew” Miller, director of the Brentsville District High School’s national award winning Turf and Grass Management Program, on receiving Virginia Tech’s Ut Prosim Award for Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumni. Ut Prosim, the university’s motto meaning “That I May Serve,” is one of the university’s highest honors.

The first time Drew heard about a major in grass was from his former high school teacher and current Unity Reed High School Biology teacher, Richard Smith. Presented with the prospect of a career in turf and grass management, Miller was stunned. “There is a major in grass!?” Miller recants, laughing. “I worked on ball fields all my life and didn’t know it was a job I could have.”

Miller went to Shenandoah University for a semester to play baseball, but shortly transferred to Virginia Tech. “My brother was on the grounds crew at Virginia Tech, so I could see an avenue to stay connected to sports.” His first job after graduating from Virginia Tech was working the field for the New York Mets. “I was on the pitching mound and looking around thinking, I guess I made it to the majors in my own way.”

Miller has created a blueprint for programs across the country. What started with four classes has grown to ten full classes and quickly expanded to national and global prominence. “We got done with the ACC Championship on the [Carolina] Panthers’ ground crew and the head guy said, ‘I want to hire every single one right now.’ To this day, one of the greatest compliments I ever got.” Through the Tiger Turf Talk podcast, Brentsville students have made connections with professional programs such as the Reno Aces, Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs, and world-renowned Wembley Stadium.

But for all the accolades, awards, and firsts, Miller remains focused on his core business. “I want [my students]to leave as better people rather than better students,” Miller stated. “I can teach them anything they need to know to be successful in this industry, but if I can get them to learn how to work with people, deal with certain situations in a professional manner, and really become the next industry leaders in our classroom…” Miller trailed off looking at his classroom walls filled with award posters of his smiling students. “They will change the industry and I want it to be for the better.”


Comments are closed.