Coaches of the Season - Fall 2018

Terri Brandt - Softball

Terri Brandt is one of the coaches for our Lompoc Braves softball team. Her son Lucas has been part of the Northern Santa Barbara County’s program for many years, and she coaches alongside her husband Simon. Terri first got involved with Special Olympics when she enrolled Lucas in basketball as a way to help him get outside, be active, and socialize with others.

Lompoc has not had enough athletes to field a team for the Fall Games in many years, but Terri has helped change that. Terri has been wonderful at communicating with everybody, including her fellow coaches, athletes, parents/caregivers, and the Special Olympics program. Not only does Terri coach, but she is also part of the Lompoc fundraising committee. This parent-led group raised enough funds to purchase new uniforms for the softball team.

For Terri, the best part of coaching Special Olympics is when a technique or idea “clicks” with an athlete as they make progress, and you can see the lightbulb going off. For softball, she has had a lot of success teaching the athletes to successfully hit the ball, to the point where her athletes rarely use tees anymore. Also, softball is her son Lucas’ favorite sport, and she has greatly enjoyed watching his progression at playing first base.

When she isn’t coaching Special Olympics, Terri is a bus driver for special needs children.

Erin Camphouse - Tennis

Three years ago, Erin was approached at the World Games to start a Glendale chapter of Special Olympics, and while it ultimately never came to fruition, she kindly offered to travel 25 miles to Van Nuys to assist with the Tri-Valley Golf team.

Erin’ dedication to Special Olympics is often stunning, since she consistently goes above and beyond for her athletes. When Special Olympics needed Erin to coach tennis and golf, she stepped up to the plate big time. Instead of asking the program to find a new coach so she could limit herself to coaching one sport, Erin decided to travel to Van Nuys for golf at 4:30 and back to Glendale at 7pm for tennis every Monday. Now that’s dedication!

Erin has created an atmosphere at both Tri-Valley Golf and Glendale Tennis that is safe, supportive, and encouraging for the athletes while they are developing their athletic skills. Both programs have seen significant growth this season due to her dedication and the culture she has created as Head Coach.

Erin takes her job very seriously. She is organized, thoroughly plans practices, and leads her coaches to be successful and feel that they are a valuable part of the team. She takes the time to get to know the athletes and their individual needs, so that she can finds ways for them to achieve success according to their individual abilities.

It is hard to find committed volunteers to coach a single sport, and much harder to find volunteers to coach multiple. However, it is truly rare to find someone willing to give two days a week and travel a great distance to coach two teams in a season.

Special Olympics is very grateful for Erin and the way she has contributed to the development of our athletes.

Brian Medel - Games Management Team

Brian has been a soccer coach, APE teacher, school administrator, and friend of Special Olympics for over 10 years. Brian is a member of Santa Barbara County’s Games Management team, helping to put on many competitions and School Games throughout the years. Brian also acts as the sound technician at many Special Olympics tournaments, and oversees the results and awards at the School Games, when he is not acting as a soccer referee.

Brian first got involved with Special Olympics when he helped to coordinate the School Games event in Ojai through Ventura County Special Olympics. Later when he moved to Santa Barbara, he helped to coordinate School Games Track and Field event there. The event was such a success and he had so much fun, that he wanted to keep volunteering and participating, so he began coaching soccer.

His favorite part about coaching is the athletes themselves, and the relationships he’s established with them. He enjoys running into the athletes in the community outside of Special Olympics and seeing their smiles when they see him at practice. He loves seeing the value that Special Olympics gives the athletes socially and emotionally, and values the opportunity to be a part of that process. He often uses the Special Olympics athletes as examples for his family of hard work and perseverance.

Brian is honored for the recognition and is very proud to be a part of the Special Olympics organization.

Brad Middleton - Tennis

Brad Middleton is one of Northern Santa Barbara county’s incredible tennis coaches. He first got involved with Special Olympics when his son wanted to play floor hockey about 10 years ago. Brad has a daughter and son in our program, and for many years, he and his wife Peggy have been a fantastic tennis head-coaching duo.

Brad is retired, and he really enjoys the social activity that Special Olympics brings into his own life. He enjoys all the sports that he coaches, but his favorite thing about coaching tennis in particular is working with the athletes on their hitting and serving. Humor is a big part of Brad’s coaching style, and he likes to joke around with all the athletes and coaches.

Brad always has the athletes’ best interests in mind and takes pride in watching them improve throughout the season. When we asked him what his favorite part of coaching Special Olympics is, he told us it’s “seeing the smiles on the athletes’ faces.”

Jay Schubert - Volleyball

As a dedicated member of our program, Jay coaches year-round in volleyball, basketball, and bowling. He has been the stable backbone of Santa Clarita and Tri-Valley’s growing volleyball program, which has grown from one to three total teams.

Jay’s entire family is involved in our program! His wife Lisa and his daughter Taylor coach volleyball, and his son Ryan is a Special Olympics volleyball player.

Jay leads his team with a calm mentality and a quiet demeanor. While sports can be very competitive, Jay never loses his cool on the sidelines. Jay loves watching the progress of his athletes, and when he has been working with an athlete on serves, he enjoys seeing the day when the ball sails over the net.

Jay's years of volunteer service have been indispensable to our program, and Special Olympics always appreciates his passion for volleyball and his dedication to our athletes.

Floor Hockey 2018
Coach of the Season

David Amavisca

Hometown: Santa Maria

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating David Amavisca as the recipient for the 2018 Floor Hockey Coach of the Season award! David first started with Special Olympics as a proud parent when his son became an athlete. He then started coaching softball and after his son became interested in floor hockey, he decided to coach floor hockey as well. Being able to watch the athletes come out of their comfort zone and interact with each other in a positive environment is what keeps David coming back, he loves watching the athletes grow and improve with time. He expressed, “I love that Special Olympics is here for adults and children with physical and learning disabilities, it allows them to participate and learn a sport that gives them the confidence to succeed. In his spare time, David, enjoys hanging out with his family and friends and watching his grand babies grow up.

Bowling 2018
Coach of the Season

Jackie Hartmann

Hometown: Santa Clarita

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Jackie Hartmann as recipient of the 2018 Bowling Coach of the Season award! Jackie got involved with Special Olympics in 1997 when her daughter joined our organization as a track athlete. Not one to stand on the sidelines, Jackie became a coach and soon after that, she organized the first Bowling Championship. Shortly after that, she became the head bowling coach, which she has been for 14 years. Jackie told us that her daughter, Keri, has grown so much and seen many opportunities from her involvement in SO; her son, Daniel, loved these athletes so much that he has become a coach as well, alongside Jackie and her husband. “Special Olympics has played a vital role in my family's life. From the beginning of our involvement, everyone in our family was positively affected.” The SOSC family not only brings these exceptional athletes together, but her own family as well. She says seeing athletes grow and learn brings joy to them and her. When she isn’t coaching, Jackie works for non-profits in Santa Clarita, the SO Leadership Committee, working on her photography, and traveling.

Coaches of the Season - Fall 2017

Kayla Edwards - Softball

Hometown: Santa Barbara

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Kayla Edwards as the recipient for the 2017 Fall Coach of the Season award in Softball! Kayla became a part of the Special Olympics family while she studied at Purdue University, where she assisted in forming the first Special Olympics Club. She is originally from Minnesota but expresses, “Getting involved with Special Olympics has been one of my favorite parts of living in Santa Barbara.” Coaching softball has brought her back to growing up, remembering the times that she played softball. She loves being able to mold and shape the lives of our athletes through sports. Special Olympics has been a life changing experience for her and she cannot wait until the next softball season!

Eileen Malumaleumu - Bowling

Hometown: Torrance

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Eileen Malumaleumu as the recipient for the 2017 Fall Coach of the Season award in Bowling! Eileen got started with Special Olympics when she first initiated her employment with the City of Carson Special Needs Program in 1995. Throughout the many years that Eileen has been with us, she has not only coached bowling but also many other sports. Eileen expressed, “I love the athletes, seeing their enthusiasm and their happy spirit win or lose. The athletes, hands down, are what keep me going year after year.” In her spare time, she enjoys baking and couponing, however being a working mom, any spare time she has is spent with her two children. Eileen is grateful for Special Olympics, not just for herself, but also more importantly for our athletes who are able to have a platform of extracurricular activities, sports, competition, and another avenue of building lifetime memories and friendships.

Jacque Martin - Tennis

Hometown: Oceanside

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Jacque Martin as the recipient for the 2017 Fall Coach of the Season award in Tennis! Jacque is a parent to a daughter that has been participating with Special Olympics for years. She started as an involved parent and later stepped into her coaching role when the previous coaches for tennis retired. The athletes are what keep bringing her back every season, she expressed, “The minute I see the first athlete arrive at practice, its nothing but joy that fills my heart.” In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and entertaining in her home. She is also very active in the military community and church community.

Carly Matera - Volleyball

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Carly Matera as the recipient for the 2017 Fall Coach of the Season award in Volleyball! Carly started with Special Olympics during her first year at Cal Poly, while she pursued her degree in Special Education and wanted to get more involved in the community. She began coaching soccer and has had the honor of coaching volleyball, athletics, basketball, and now floor hockey. In her spare time she enjoys the mountains, she loves running, hiking, and being outdoors. Carly is thankful for Special Olympics and the selfless people she has met because of it. She expressed, “It’s hard to explain but the athletes give me energy and motivation to make it through the week. I think they teach me more than I could ever teach them!”

Adam Sutphin - Soccer

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Adam Sutphin as the recipient for the 2017 Fall Coach of the Season award in Soccer! Adam started with Special Olympics in 2013 when he became interested in coaching athletics. He quickly became comfortable and fell in love with the organization. Since his start, he has had the opportunity to coach athletics, soccer, and basketball he is looking forward to coaching flag football when it becomes available. He expresses, “I’m here to help coach as much as I can, but these athletes have taught me so much about what is truly important in life; which is being the best you can be and just love everyone.” In his spare time, Adam works his two jobs and attends school where he pursues a career in marketing.

Coaches of the Season - Spring 2017

Akiko Kondo - Gymnastics, Santa Clarita & Tri-Valley

Hometown: Osaka, Japan

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Akiko Kondo as the recipient of the 2017 Spring Coach of the Season award for Gymnastics! Akiko has been a part of the Special Olympics family since 2009. A few years prior to starting with SOSC, she had started working for LARC Ranch developmental community. She noticed a need for a fun group activity amongst the community members and decided to get involved with gymnastics. Most of her athletes are wheelchair bound and love to stay active with Coach Akiko. She enjoys gymnastics and seeing her athletes active and happy. In her spare time, she loves getting outdoors and stays active playing golf and tennis with her husband.

Dan Weiner - Athletics, Santa Barbara County

Hometown: Santa Barbara has lived there for 39 years

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Dan Weiner as the recipient of the 2017 Spring Coach of the Season award for Athletics! Dan had his first experience with Special Olympics in 1972 when he and his late wife sponsored an athlete. In 1997, he received a flyer in the mail asking for Special Olympic coaches, attended a general session to learn more about coaching, and the rest is history. As a former track athlete, he chose athletics because he enjoyed the different aspects it provided. The idea that his efforts and energy get people who otherwise would not be involved in competitive sports has kept him a part of Special Olympics for more than 20 years. Dan also enjoys coaching a power wheelchair soccer team, surfing, hiking, golf and anything that gets him outside and active. He is deeply gratified to have been chosen for Coach of the Season and says he will, "coach until he is dead".

Scott Ogata - Basketball, Los Angeles & San Gabriel Valley

Hometown: Whittier for over 20 years

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Scott Ogata as the recipient of the 2017 Spring Coach of the Season award for Basketball! Scott has been involved with SOSC since he was in high school, 27 years ago. He was a three-sport athlete and was encouraged to get involved with extra-curricular activities through Special Olympics. He volunteered and he was hooked. When it came time to coach a sport he chose one of the three he had enjoyed so much as a kid. He loves being able to give the athletes the opportunity to compete and participate in a sport they enjoy so much. The look on their faces when they practice and compete in a sport they watch their hero’s play has kept him involved for so long. When he is not bringing joy to his athletes he is a full time LAPD police officer and entrepreneur.

Keith Brigman - Bocce, Orange County

Hometown: Irvine, has lived there for 32 years

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Keith Brigman as the recipient of the 2017 Spring Coach of the Season award for Bocce! Keith is a retired adaptive physical education teacher and has been with Special Olympics since 1975. He started coaching after he met Madeline Evans, the former director of Orange County SO, and she encouraged him to get involved with his students. He took her advice and has coached and been certified with every sport SO offers. Keith still has some of his original athletes from the 1970’s competing with him so he migrated to coach a recreational sport that his athletes can do in their free time. He the uniqueness, love, joy and fellowship the players have with each other as well as with him. In his spare time he likes to exercise by playing a lot of softball, working out, and taking care of six grandchildren.

Alan Fry, Sr. - Golf, Los Angeles & San Gabriel Valley

Alan Fry Sr. is a parent, longtime coach of multiple sports, and a global messenger coach. Five years ago he started a South Bay golf program with 5 athletes, which has now grown 32 athletes strong! He is extremely busy with his profession at Mattel, but finds the time and energy to coach and maintain all the paperwork and logistics for competitions. Let’s have a round of applause for Alan, the recipient of the 2017 Spring Coach of the Season Award for Golf.

Rex Whitehead - Swimming, San Diego County

Hometown: Grew up in San Diego. Lives in Chula Vista.

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Rex Whitehead as the recipient for the 2017 Spring Coach of the Season award for Swimming! Rex is a parent to a daughter that has been participating in Special Olympics swimming for 12 years. He started as an involved parent, worked his way up to assistant coach, and then head coach for the past 5 years. He recently retired from teaching and coaching after 37 years. With three daughters, taking trips, coaching swimming, and fixing up a 1971 Volkswagen bus, he has plenty to keep him busy!

Coaches of the Season - Fall 2016

Tim & Debbie Simmons | San Diego, bowling

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Tim and Debbie Simmons as the recipients of the 2016 Fall Coach of the Season award for bowling! Tim and Debbie are no strangers to the SOSC community. Getting their start more than five years ago with their daughter’s small group, they have continued to volunteer with Special Olympics and are now head coaches of the bowling team in San Diego. They love that bowling is a sport that any athlete can compete in and allows for downtime for socialization amongst the athletes to help them make friends. Debbie shared with us that one of their athletes will only knock down one pin, and will celebrate as if she hit a strike. It is these experiences and positivity of the athletes that keep Tim and Debbie coming back. When they aren’t hitting strikes, Tim and Debbie are volunteering their time in ministry with their church’s youth group, where they have been involved for more than 25 years.

Tim Powers | Santa Barbara, floor hockey

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Tim Powers as the recipient of the 2016 Fall Coach of the Season award for floor hockey! Tim has volunteered with Special Olympics for more than 10 years, coaching both floor hockey and basketball. He began as an assistant coach for his brother’s team and continued to return season after season, leading him to his current position as head coach. Tim has come to love the game of floor hockey through watching the athletes work together as a team and grow tremendously as individuals through being a part of Special Olympics.

Jerry Lawrence Siegel | Santa Barbara, soccer

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Jerry Siegel as the recipient of the 2016 Fall Coach of the Season award for soccer! In his 11th year with Special Olympics, Jerry has been involved with numerous aspects of the organization. Through coaching both soccer and track and field, serving on the leadership council, volunteering at the 2015 World Games, and initiating soccer and track and field School Games, he has embodied the Special Olympics mission into his time on and off the field. Jerry loves the team spirit and supportiveness he sees amongst the athletes and embraces the joy and enthusiasm of the athletes’ spirits. Off the field, you can find Jerry on the production team for the Santa Barbara Film Festival and cycling through adventurous excursions!

Mike Hauser | San Diego, softball

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Mike Hauser as the recipient of the 2016 Fall Coach of the Season award for softball! This huge baseball fan wasn’t going to shy away from the opportunity to coach softball with Special Olympics. To Mike, softball is a sport that gets everyone involved, from the outfield, being up to bat, or on the bench, there’s always an opportunity to get involved and cheer one another on. In his four-plus years with Special Olympics, Mike has coached the same team of athletes for and enjoys the time at their weekly practices and weekend tournaments to be refreshed with the energy and community of the athletes. When he’s not in the dugout, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, especially when he has the entire household under one roof all together!

Dee Henry | Orange County, tennis

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Dee Henry as the recipient of the 2016 Fall Coach of the Season award for tennis! Dee is a name that is known among SOSC. A collegiate tennis coach for 45 years and Special Olympics coach for more than 15 years, her passion for tennis goes beyond the court. She loves that tennis is fun for everybody, and teaches so many life skills. Dee shared that for one of her athletes, their goal was for him to learn how to follow directions through sport. Lindsay Marksbury of Orange County says, “Coach Dee has a special bond with the athletes like I've never seen. She is great at explaining and demonstrating so the athletes understand exactly what she expects of them. Her dedication to our athletes and Special Olympics beyond amazes me.” Aside from the tennis court, Dee enjoys spending time with her family.

Taylor Schubert | Santa Clarita, volleyball

Please join the SOSC family in congratulating Taylor Schubert as the recipient of the 2016 Fall Coach of the Season award for volleyball! Taylor is a twin of one of our athletes. She has been a part of Special Olympics since the age of 12 when her brother began playing. Coaching with her dad over the years has allowed their family the chance to rally around sports together as a family. A volleyball player herself, Taylor loves that it gives the athletes a team atmosphere and a chance for them to work out and have a fun time doing it. Although there isn’t a specific moment that has stood out to Taylor over the years, she can’t express how much she loves Special Olympics and how it has helped her brother grow. Off the court, Taylor is in the classroom as a Special Education teacher.