Coaching Corps announces the 2013-14 Campus Chapter Award Winners!

2013-2014 Campus Chapter Award Winners


Every year, every season, and every day the Coaching Corps volunteers reach more kids in need. In fact, we just had our best year ever and had more than 10,000 kids receive a caring coach throughout California, and in Boston, Denver, Orlando, and Atlanta!

At the heart of this work, as with so many of history’s great movements, are college students. In fact, college students make up more than half of all our coaches and have fueled the Coaching Corps movement.

Coaching Corps wants to thank ALL of our coaches for their great work this year and to recognize the amazing work of our standout campus chapters — the chapters setting the bar for what we can do to shrink the sports gap and change the game for even more kids every coming year. This year’s winners are:

The Coach Recruitment Award goes toSan Francisco State University Coaching Corps chapter


We are thrilled to announce that the San Francisco State chapter wins the Coach Recruitment Award for their success in growing their number of coaches in the field by nearly 40%! Each year, low income kids miss out on the opportunity to play, learn, and grow simply because they lack a coach to work with them. Our vision is simply to make sure children, regardless of where they live, get the coach they need to create those opportunities.

The Coach Retention Award goes toEmory University Coaching Corps chapter


We are excited to award the Emory University chapter with the Coach Retention Award for their impressive feat of having more than a dozen coaches volunteer in back to back seasons and giving their teams an entire school year of support! Keeping our coaches coming back is possibly the single most important thing a chapter can do to help change the game for low-income youth.  A returning coach not only helps us serve as many youth as possible but they also increase the quality of the experience that their kids have.  By coming back, season-to-season, a returning coach knows their kids and can make a greater impact in their life.

The Community Engagement Award goes toStanford University Coaching Corps chapter


Stanford’s chapter is this year’s winner of the Community Engagement Award for their work beyond the numbers to engage all of the communities it takes for our work to be a success.

The Stanford chapter not only hosted multiple Take Your Team to College Day events throughout the year but also kicked their campus outreach efforts into high gear this year.  They increased their coach enrollment by getting the student recreation center to run advertisements, by engaging the Athletic Department to endorse Coaching Corps through social media, and by personally reaching out to students at dorm meetings throughout the year.  This chapter also recently got approval from the P.E. Department to make Coaching Corps a class for credit beginning in the fall!

The Coaching Corps Ambassador Award goes toDaisy Munoz, 

President at Cal State University, LA Coaching Corps chapter


Daisy is the Coaching Corps Ambassador of the Year for her amazing leadership in getting the Coaching Corps chapter off the ground and running at her school.

As president, Munoz took on all the duties of an entire leadership team this year.  She tirelessly recruited the chapter’s first coaches by putting up flyers, speaking in front of classrooms, and emailing contacts around campus.  She also supported her coaches throughout the season and got them to recruit their friends.  At the end of the year, the CSULA Chapter has hit all of its goals, completed the school process to become recognized, and has recruited a full leadership team for next year.  Keep an eye on Daisy and the CSULA Chapter as they take that momentum into next year!

The Rookie Chapter of the Year Award goes toBoston College Coaching Corps chapter


Just like in the pros, every year there are brand new chapters out there that step up to the plate and play ball like they’ve been around for years. Sometimes these rookie chapters are carried by the passion of a key leader, sometimes they are built on the back of hard work, and sometimes they are the result of a leadership team that works together like old friends…and sometimes it’s all three.

There were definitely several strong contenders this year for the Rookie Chapter of the Year. Coaching Corps is proud to give the award to Boston College chapter for their stellar work this year. The Boston College chapter laid the foundation for an amazing spring season and overall year.  They posted the strongest recruitment numbers of any new chapter (21 actual coach placements) and secured two stories that were featured in campus publications. They also partnered with the Special Olympics to provide coaching support to their kids and as a way to keep new recruits involved. By working together as a team they crushed all of their goals for the year and set the stage for even more success next year.

The Chapter of the Year Award goes to UCLA Coaching Corps chapter


As John Wooden said, “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” For the second year in a row UCLA has shown its true character and set the bar on what a Coaching Corps chapter can be. UCLA members know that they are part of a growing movement and continue to pioneer ways to grow their chapter and influence chapters all across the country. They have shown that they are not just doing great work in LA but making an impact nationwide.

This year the UCLA chapter is being recognized specifically for their establishment of a mentor program for new coaches which other Coaching Corps will be replicating with all our chapters next year.  UCLA leaders have worked hard to engage their mentees to ensure everyone has a quality experience at their sites and has offered season-long support with many coaches who are working at different sites. This has proven to be a great way of offering support with so many coaches working at so many different sites. This year the UCLA chapter also hosted a special screening of “The Rugby Player” on campus which increased visibility of LGBT athletes among the student body and provided new partnership opportunities with existing groups on campus.

With three returning leaders coming back next fall, the team has ensured it will have a good mix of experience and new energy to once again raise the bar for all chapters!


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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