2nd Annual Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards


“Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards” Presented by Levi’s® Airing Sunday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area

Golden State Warriors Star and Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, Oakland Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr, San Francisco Giants Right Fielder Hunter Pence, San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Torrey Smith and A’s Catcher Stephen Vogt to Honor their Coaches and Mentors Stanford Women’s Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer to Be Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

Broadcast to Feature a Special Shootout Competition Among San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture

OAKLAND, CA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 14, 2016 – Coaching Corps (@CoachingCorps) and CSN Bay Area (@CSNAuthentic), the home of “Authentic Bay Area Sports,” today announced the 2nd Annual Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards presented by Levi’s® airing Sunday Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. This event supports Coaching Corps’ mission to provide youth from under-resourced communities access to trained coaches and the benefits of sports activities and team-based learning. The Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards will feature top Bay Area professional athletes celebrating the profound influence of coaches on their lives and in the community.

The presenters – prominent Bay Area athletes whose lives have been shaped by the mentorship and transformative influence of caring coaches and other important persons – include:

  • Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors point guard, 2014-15 NBA Champion and reigning NBA MVP, honoring his college coach Bob McKillop, Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Davidson College;
  • Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders quarterback, honoring his brother David Carr, 12-year NFL veteran and former quarterback;
  • Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants right fielder and 2012 & 2014 World Series Champion, honoring his lifelong baseball mentor and former minor league pitcher Chris Gay;
  • Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and Super Bowl XLVII Champion, honoring his Stafford Senior High School coaches John and Roger Pierce; and
  • Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s catcher and 2015 MLB All-Star, honoring his father Randy Vogt, former Fresno State University pitcher.

Stanford Women’s Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer will be honored with the 2016 Coaching Corps Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented by former Stanford point guard and current University of San Francisco Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jennifer Azzi.

For the pinnacle moment of the evening, the Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards will honor 23-year-old University of Central Florida graduate Kutar Iman Sield with the Volunteer Coach of the Year Award.  Coach Kutar was selected for her exemplary work coaching an all-boys middle school basketball team. When told that she will be receiving this prestigious award, Coach Kutar said:  “Playing sports at a young age taught me my work ethic and the importance of perseverance.  Basketball gave me confidence. I’m so thankful to be able to pass that on.”

Additionally, viewers will be treated to a special shootout competition among three San Jose Sharks: six-time NHL All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Thornton, two-time NHL All-Star and Olympic Silver Medalist Joe Pavelski and 2012 NHL All-Star Logan Couture.

The 2nd Annual Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards, a 90-minute program,  is hosted by CSN Bay Area’s Dave Feldman (@FeldyCSN) and Ahmed Fareed (@AhmedFareedCSN), along with Ros Gold-Onwude (@Rosgo21). The awards ceremony will be taped on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.  After the broadcast debut (Sunday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area), the program will re-air later that evening at 11 p.m. on CSN California.  Visit CSNBayArea.com for additional air dates and times.

“As the premier provider of sports programming throughout the region, we understand the impact that sports and coaching can make with youth and the local community,” said Ted Griggs, President and General Manager of CSN Bay Area and CSN California.  “We’re excited to be a part of the Coaching Corps Awards program that celebrates the influence of coaches and other sports mentors on the lives of young people, and we hope this wonderful evening will inspire others to get involved with Coaching Corps. We’re especially grateful for the participation of the Bay Area sports teams in this extraordinary event.”

“Opportunities to play organized sports with a trained coach are just not there for many kids living in lower income neighborhoods,” said Janet Carter, Coaching Corps’ Executive Director. “Our partnership with CSN allows us to raise funds, reach more kids and activate communities to increase access to coaches and sports. To ensure that all kids get a chance to play with a trained coach requires a village of committed partners, so cultivating broader community and corporate involvement is important,” she said. Since its founding, Coaching Corps volunteers have reached 75,000 kids through sports. Its members use coaching to teach kids life lessons that build character traits critical to success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. “There is no life lesson that sports can’t teach,” Carter said.

“We’re incredibly grateful that so many local partners are lending their support,” said Wally Haas, Coaching Corps founder and Board President. “Between Levi’s as the presenting sponsor, CSN and our local teams, we’re excited by the opportunity to broaden our impact and ensure that all kids have the opportunity to benefit from playing sports.”

Twitter & Instagram: @coachingcorps, @CSNAuthentic

Hashtags: #coachingcorps, #coacheschangethegame

Coaching Corps would like to thank the following sponsors for making this event possible: Presenting Sponsor – Levi’s; Media Sponsor – CSN Bay Area; Partner (Individuals) – Mitchell and Susan Cohen, Wally & Julie Haas, and Jennifer Maxwell; Mentor (Individuals) – Harris & Megan Barton, Cecily Cameron & Derek Schrier, Bret & Jackie Comolli, Brad & Cathy Geier, John & Terry Levin, The Lind Family, The Nooney Family, Dan & Allison Rose, Angela Nomellini & Ken Olivier, (Organizations) Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bank of the West, Capital Group, Comcast, Dodge and Cox, Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, Morrison and Foerster, Northern Trust, San Jose Earthquakes; Motivator (Individuals) – Chase Beeler & James McGillicuddy, Barbara & David Kimport, Our Chosen Family, (Organizations) Addis, Cal Athletics, Farella Braun + Martel LLP, Hood and Strong, Kaiser Permanente, Sonoma Raceway, Wilson Elser, Zignal, zTailors Generation Tux; and Recruiter (Organization) – US Trust.

About Coaching Corps:
Every day, Coaching Corps coaches change the game for kids living in low-income neighborhoods. Partnering with afterschool programs, schools and community organizations, we ensure that all kids have the chance to play sports with a trained coach and benefit from all the life lessons sports can teach. Persistence. Empathy. Self-regulation. Optimism. Since its founding, Coaching Corps has connected 75,000 youth in underserved communities to caring and capable coaches recruited from the community and nearby colleges and universities. To learn more, visit us at: www.coachingcorps.org.

About CSN:
CSN Bay Area and CSN California, both part of NBC Sports Regional Networks, serve more than four million households in Northern California, Nevada, Southern Oregon and Hawaii. CSN Bay Area, the television home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants, NBA’s Golden State Warriors, and the official regional sports network of the San Francisco 49ers, also features a robust lineup of Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and original programming. CSN California offers live coverage of MLB’s Oakland Athletics, NBA’s Sacramento Kings, NHL’s San Jose Sharks, MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes and is the official regional sports network of the Oakland Raiders. Collectively, these networks deliver more than 600 live sporting events per year, over 1,500 live studio shows, including SportsNet Central, SportsTalk Live, Pregame Live, Postgame Live, Press Conference Live, as well as compelling digital content, up-to-the-minute scores, highlights and breaking news via www.CSNBayArea.com and www.CSNCalifornia.com. Follow both networks on Twitter via @CSNAuthentic.

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Media Contacts
Jay dela Cruz, CSN Bay Area
(415) 296-8900

Stacey Manley, Coaching Corps
(510) 496-5127

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Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Benita Vargas-Brown, Volleyball Coach at Hampstead Hill Academy

Benita Vargas-Brown grew up in one of the poorest parts of Baltimore. She always wanted to make a difference in the city, which is why she became a social worker. That same passion eventually led her to coach and mentor kids in sports. Learn more about Benita’s journey in her own words.
How did you become a Coaching Corps coach?
I didn’t go looking for coaching, it found me. I was really stressed with my job and my final semester in undergrad, so my husband said, “You’re really not helping yourself. Why don’t you leave your job, take the semester off, and figure out what you want to do next?” So, I went to a volunteering fair, and that’s when I got to know Coaching Corps. It was destiny: They were looking for a volleyball coach, and I am qualified to coach volleyball. They said they needed a coach for Hampstead Hill Academy, which is literally just a walk away from our home. So, it was really perfect.
Can you tell us more about the challenges that the kids you coach face at school and at home?
When people hear Baltimore, crime and violence are among the usual challenges that come to mind, so it was extra important to keep the kids off the streets. I’ve had to drive some of the girls home so they don’t have to take the bus when it’s dark.
There have also been some differences among the girls. The school is located at Patterson Park, where on one side you have the million-dollar houses, and on the other you have boarded-up houses. So you wind up having kids coming from privileged and underprivileged situations. This created some interesting dynamics within the team that led to some difficult conversations, but we got through it eventually. That’s one of the benefits of team sports. We got this whole learning experience that wound up really positive at the end.
You mentioned something about “interesting team dynamics.” Can you share more about that?
This is actually one of the things I’m proudest [of] about my team. The girls take it upon themselves to address differences within the group. At one point, it became very clear during our practice that something wasn’t right. We were on this championship drive but there was obvious tension within the team. The girls came to me and gathered as a group to talk things through. The fact that they came up with that strategy on their own is really amazing. For me, it meant that we’re doing something right. After that talk, we got back together as a team. I’m so glad we did it because I know for a fact we wouldn’t have won the championship without sorting things out. Everybody makes mistakes. At the end of the day, what’s important is to be there and have each other’s backs.
What changes or improvements did you see in the girls as a result of being on the team?
The most obvious one would be the sense of maturity. To be in a position where you have a responsibility over something, to be able to practice and play, there are expectations. If you didn’t come to practice on Wednesday, you’re not going to play on Thursday: that’s the consequence for skipping practice.  Eventually it wasn’t the consequence that really drove them. It was their commitment.
All my [Coaching Corps] girls who tried out for high school sports made their teams. There are two highly-rated schools in Baltimore, Baltimore Polytechnic institute and Baltimore City College. To get into those schools is every parent’s and kid’s dream. They have great education and high graduation rates, and they don’t tolerate gang-related violence, which creates a safer environment for the kids. Fifteen of the girls from the team got in and played for Poly while 13 went to City. That makes me really happy.
Wow! If there’s one way to describe success and promoting equity, that would be it. With all these experiences, what advice would you give aspiring coaches and mentors for kids?
Show up. You have to be there. You have to be consistent. You can’t cancel on these kids. Over the course of my time, if I know something’s going to come up in my schedule, I plan for an assistant coach to take over. Kids know if you care. You can figure out everything else, there are Youtube videos for that. You just have to show up because these kids expect you to be there for them.
Afterschool Partners


Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida

City of Orlando Athletics

Afterschool Program Partners


JT Dorsey Foundation

Afterschool Program Partners

San Diego

Gompers Preparatory Academy

High Tech High

La Maestra Foundation – Center for Youth Advancement at Generations

The Monarch School

Pro Kids | The First Tee of San Diego

Soccer Kids America

YMCA of San Diego County

Afterschool Program Partners

Los Angeles

A Place Called Home


After School All Stars: Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Club of Venice

Boys & Girls Clubs of Carson

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica

Boys and Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor

Brotherhood Crusade

City of Huntington Park Department of Parks

East Los Angeles Rising Youth Club

Equitas Academy

Girls on the Run of Los Angeles

Girls Play Los Angeles

ICES Education


L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine

Los Angeles Rec and Parks

Major League Baseball Youth Academy

Norwalk La Mirada Unified

P.F. Bresee Foundation

Sloane Stephens Foundation

Street Soccer USA: Los Angeles

Team Prime Time

Variety Boys & Girls Club

Watts Rams

YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles

Afterschool Program Partners


Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta: Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
Afterschool Program Partners


All Dorchester Sports and Leadership

Boston Centers for Youth & Families


Cambridge Community Center

East End House

Oak Square YMCA

Sole Train: Boston Runs Together