ASU's lead groundskeeper Brian Johnson retiring after 236 home games, 37 years

_Brian Johnson ASU groundskeeper.jpg
Posted at 2:27 PM, Nov 27, 2021

TEMPE, AZ — After 236 home games — and a 37-year-career — Brian Johnson, the lead groundskeeper for Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium plans to retire next spring.

That means Saturday's Territorial Cup between ASU and the University of Arizona will also be his last in-game design for the in-state rivalry.

For his final design: Sparky, ASU's mascot, on the 50-year line with the Arizona state outline in the background and Johnson's signature in the lower right corner. On the 25-yard line, ASU's signature pitchfork hand gesture. And in the end zones, ASU's signature maroon background with "Sun Devils" and "Arizona State" written in gold.

"What a blessing to work my whole career at ASU. Thanks to all the former student workers who traveled back to help paint," Johnson wrote on Twitter.

Johnson gained a local — and loyal — following on Twitter, sometimes sharing previews of the in-field design before ASU games, and also sharing in-progress photos of those designs over the years.

The Sun Devils dominated the Wildcats, 70-7, in Tucson for the 2020 Territorial Cup.