Darian Daily, head sports field manager at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (home of the Bengals), died unexpectedly on August 27 at age 47. Sources say Daily suffered a medical emergency while painting a football field at Taylor High School in Cleves, Ohio.
According to an article in Sportsfield Management Magazine, Daily, a native of Dickson, Tennessee, had been with the Bengals since 2003 and was also a full-time employee with Hamilton County in Ohio.
“The news of Darian’s passing is tragic to the entire Bengals organization, and also I know to his colleagues with Hamilton County,” Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said in a statement. “Darian was not only a very hard worker, someone who had earned high honors for his work, he was a great individual – enthusiastic, helpful, fun to be around. He will be missed in a very personal sense as well as a professional one. Our sympathy goes out to Darian’s family and to his many friends.”
Daily is survived by his wife of 17 years, Carole Hopkins Daily, and his two children: Peyton Elizabeth Daily and William Thomas Daily.
A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Daily began his career on the grounds crew of the Single-A Winston-Salem Spirits. He later served as the Director of Stadium Grounds for the Columbus Crew, of Major League Soccer. Daily was a former Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) board member and was the recipient of the Dick Ericson Founders Award in 2011, for his expertise at Paul Brown Stadium. He took over head field manager duties at Paul Brown Stadium from Doug Bradley, the stadium’s original groundskeeper.
He was also a member of the Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association, the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation and the NFL’s Safety Commitee. He had also given his expertise to ASBA on various occasions, including reviewing sections of the publication, Sports Fields: A Construction & Maintenance Manual.
Jim Catella, president of the Fields Division of ASBA, stated, “Darian Daily was very active in the STMA and volunteered his time to peer review our fields book from the perspective of a professional sports field manager. For that and for his willingness to lend us his expertise to various technical questions we are grateful. He will be missed.”
Services were held in Daily’s hometown on September 1. Memorial donations may be made to the Daily Family (to go in trust for his children) c/o Chambers and Grubbs Funeral Homes, 11382 Madison Pike, Independence, KY 41051.
ASBA acknowledges and thanks Sportsfield Management Magazine for much of the biographical information in this article.