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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Rachael A. Cline

Rachael A. ClineRachael A. Cline

Department of Horticulture and Crop Science
Sustainable Plant Systems - Turfgrass Science
Toronto, OH

2021 Distinguished Senior Award Celebration Program (.pdf)

2021 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Poster (.pdf)

Rachael Cline believes her most rewarding experience during her time at Ohio State was her internship with Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium. Her position there allowed her to develop skills as a young groundsperson, to perform routine maintenance tasks, and to problem-solve. It also presented her with the opportunity to take on major responsibilities, including preparing training fields and communicating with the coaches of the professional soccer team. This was her first experience affiliated with a team of that caliber and affirmed her passion to pursue a career in professional sports turf management.

As an undergraduate, Rachael’s greatest sense of accomplishment came from setting up and following through with her internship at Everton FC, a professional soccer club in Liverpool, England. While overseas, she helped facilitate the management of Premier League first team training pitches, which included three full-size natural grass fiber sand fields reinforced with a Desso fiber hybrid system, as well as an additional designated goalkeeper area. Rachael had the opportunity to follow the agronomic consultant team as they performed their annual pitch performance tests. She was also involved in the daily and weekly management planning for the professional training surfaces. She completed her 6-month internship throughout the global COVID lockdown. Being in a foreign country while in the midst of such challenging and isolating circumstances helped her to understand how important relationships and a sense of community are. Rachael was able to take advantage of the situation, sitting in on multiple turf industry meetings/conferences and reaching out to numerous professionals, to make connections and garner advice during the tough times. She learned so much about herself, as well as gained extra knowledge within the industry, because of her experiences.

Rachael would like to recognize Mr. Matt Williams as her OSU staff mentor. Rachael shares, “Matt Williams was the manager at the OTF Research and Education Facility when I joined as a student employee. Matt inspired me with his passion for the turfgrass industry and extended his personal connections in order to help me to become successful. Matt is the reason I changed to a Sustainable Plant Systems major with a specialization in Turfgrass Science. In working alongside Matt at the turf plots, I recognized his passion for the industry, and I connected with it. It is because of Matt’s networking and personal connections that I gained my internship at Columbus Crew, which led to both my internship with Everton FC and my job at Austin FC. Matt was the catalyst that ignited my start within the professional sports turf management career. I owe the passion I hold within this career field to Mr. Matt Williams himself.”

Rachael has accepted a position with Austin FC as the assistant groundskeeper at St. David’s Performance Center. Her long-term goal is to become a professional sports turf manager, specifically in professional soccer.

Service, involvement, and accolades: Ohio State Rowing Team | Turf Club, vice president | Student Council Representative, community service committee

Rachael Cline - Press Release