An interview with Ryan Coffman – Director of Golf and Common Area Maintenance

Steve Shepard and Virginia Wheeless

On April 18, 2016 we sat down with Ryan Coffman, Director of Golf and Common Area Maintenance, to learn more about him and what he does at Robson Ranch. Ryan reports to Kent Coleman, General Manager at Robson Ranch Texas, and Mark Giannonatti, Operations Director at Robson Communities (AZ).

Ryan came to Robson Ranch in November 2011 seeking a position that offered opportunity for professional growth and a chance to make a difference at the Wildhorse Golf Course. He brought with him a degree in Agronomy and Turf Management from Texas A&M University and years of experience at Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Rockwall, TX. Ryan resides in Roanoke with his wife Kristen and two daughters, Claire, 5 years old, and Karlee, 8 months old.

When we asked Ryan the secret to his effectiveness he was quick to point to the people who work with him, especially Christian Boyd, Golf Course Superintendent, and Lee Trejo, Landscape Superintendent. Ryan oversees a unit with approximately 33 people who work on both common areas and the golf course. Steve Shepard, chair of the HOA Golf and Greens Committee, noted that Ryan’s exceptional leadership is visible in his staff. “When one encounters the staff on the course or common areas, you receive a friendly smile and a wave that tells you they enjoy their job, which translates into hard work with great results.”

Ryan defined his work at Robson Ranch as ever-changing—every day is different—making his job both challenging and exciting. He described some of his major projects as opportunities to improve the sport of golf for residents and to make the common areas safe and more attractive and appealing to current and new residents. For example, over the past five months Ryan oversaw the innovative installation of the new Better Billy Bunker system. It was not uncommon to see Ryan and Christian working in the cold weather with other staff to complete the project ahead of schedule and below budget. With new liners, drains and sand, the bunkers now offer PGA quality play for Robson golfers.

Another major project that Ryan implemented was a centralized system of controls for water irrigation that put all the golf course irrigation boxes on Toro Lynx software and Network VP Irrigation Boxes, allowing single head controls. This action will allow a more efficient use of water and interface with the future nine holes under construction. With the completion of three new holes and the restoration of two existing holes, a new nine hole golf course is on its way to completion in the near future, thanks to Ryan’s leadership.

Ryan carried his priority for water efficiency to new landscaping in the common areas and the installation of a better system of irrigation and pruning of trees to protect their growth and beauty. Drought resistant plants have been placed around the Ranch and at the new eastern entrance under the leadership of Landscape Superintendent Lee Trejo. With the installation of new gates, this entrance should open very soon and provide a much needed egress to the eastern part of the Ranch.

Ryan’s job involved the purchase and maintenance of over 82 pieces of major equipment. The equipment is maintained on a wireless hour meter system. This allows the equipment to be serviced more effectively and cataloged for easier control and audit. It is also important for him to communicate with the Robson community. This is done primarily through the HOA Golf and Greens Committee. Here Ryan often explained detailed and abstract work condensing it into language lay people can understand, a quality that members of the committee value.

Christian Boyd and Lee Trejo described Ryan as easy going, a good communicator who delivers clear expectations, a tireless worker and someone dedicated to his work. It is not uncommon to find these men working 50-60 hours a week to give life to Robson Ranch. We are fortunate to have Ryan Coffman here to make Robson Ranch a better place to live and play.