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Oklahoma football: Jeff Salmond's groundkeeping crew lives for fall football Saturdays

by Jason Kersey Published: August 28, 2014

A field’s Gmax is determined by dropping a weight onto the field and measuring how fast it stops after hitting the surface. A higher Gmax means the weight stopped quickly.

The National Football League requires all fields be below 100 Gmax, and although the NCAA doesn’t have similar requirements, Salmond said his staff holds itself to that standard.

Salmond, from Kansas City, Mo., grew up a big-time sports fan — his favorite football player was OU legend Brian Bosworth — and also farmed. He has worked on field-management teams with the Baltimore Ravens, the University of New Mexico and Northwestern University.

This will be his eighth year in Norman.

Because the football stadium is probably the biggest visitor attraction on the OU campus, the groundskeeping crew focuses year-round on maintaining the field, but really amps up its efforts after the annual spring game in April.

“We know that we're on display 365 days a year, really,” Salmond said. “It's not like we can go, ‘It's just football season.’

“We take pride in all of our fields that we manage for the University of Oklahoma and the athletic department.”

In a typical game week, Salmond said his staff uses roughly 300 gallons of paint on Owen Field over three days.

They paint the endzones and logos on Wednesday; paint the yard lines, numbers and hash marks on Thursdays; and finally add a second coat over the end zones and logos Friday.

“They go above and beyond, and hours really don't matter to them,” Stoops said. “I appreciate Jeff Salmond, that whole crew. They do an incredible job and take a lot of pride in it.”