This award was established in 1978-1979 to recognize an individual in the turf industry who had made significant contributions to the profession and advanced the state of grass in the state of Kentucky. Dean, who served as the president of the KTC from 2011-12, was the 2014 honoree of the KTC Man of the Year. Dean manages the Univeristy of Kentucky sports turf team.
"The UK Sports Turf team produces nationally recognized, exceptional competition and practice surfaces year in and year out, "associate athletics director Kevin Saal, who oversees UK’s sports turf department, said. "Their success is attributable to a tremendous team effort, led by Marcus. Marcus has assembled a knowledgeable, experienced and hard-working team that facilitates a world class experience for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Outside of his time at UK, Marcus is very giving of his time to the industry and is very deserving of this award."
Dean is in his 11th year at the University of Kentucky and his fifth year as the sports turf manager. As one of only two certified sports field managers in the state of Kentucky, Dean is charged with managing all of UK’s playing surfaces. His responsibilities include landscaping and maintenance of all athletic fields on campus.
Dean’s unit has formed one of the top sports turf departments in the nation, which includes Tommy Davis (working on UK baseball’s playing surface since 1978), Dave Thomas (since 1982), Chuck Stivers (since 1996), Josh Barnes (since 2001) and Eric Harshman (since 2013).
Dean also captains a turfgrass department that produces consistent talent in the profession from its student ranks. Several teams have benefited from UK’s student program, including Iowa Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Steelers, Greenville Drive, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Lexington Legends, Louisville Bats, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, Dayton Dragons, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Buffalo Bisons, George Tech, Louisville, Texas Tech, Georgia, South Carolina and Georgetown College.
A 2002 graduate of UK with a degree in plant and soil science, with an emphasis in turfgrass management, Dean and his wife Jill have a son and daughter.
Prior to coming to UK, Dean was the assistant playing surfaces coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He assisted in the daily operations of Heinz Field, the UPMC practice facility, and training camp in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.