When we established the SPRTER College Impact Awards (formerly Athlete CRUSH College Impact Awards), we set out on a mission to recognize and support some of the most selfless collegiate sporters from across the nation. The submission pool included some incredibly inspirational stories – but there was one nominee who received the most support from the community.
The story of Molloy College women’s tennis coach, Brandon Caputo, this year’s Community Champion Award winner – is awesome. Brandon made a huge impact during the tough times of COVID-19 on his team and the community. He set up weekly Zoom meetings and pushed his team to achieve a high overall GPA of 3.85. He encouraged his team to give back to the community while creating an anti-racism committee called ROAR (Reaching Out Against Racism). He also completed his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities. We were lucky enough to speak with Brendan about his life, sport interests and passion for the community:
Hi Brendan! Congratulations on being crowned the Community Champion! Can you please tell us a little bit about your upbringing and how it helped shape the person you are today?
“Growing up, my family and my athletic teams were also involved in giving back. At first, all I noticed was the smiles on people’s faces as we went into local neighborhoods and helped their cause and their communities. Later, I noticed I was having fun helping out, too. By the time I reached my young adult life, I realized the magic in giving back as a team and a family was the bonding and camaraderie that developed when joining together to help those in need. That is what I try to keep my awareness on when working as a coach with teams today at Molloy.”
What are some of the charity projects you have been involved with?
“With the Tennis Team, the Molloy ladies and I have been involved in raising money and awareness for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). We have a charity tennis fundraiser and dinner for the local community with a portion of the $1000 proceeds going to NAMI. (This was our first fundraiser as a team and a huge success). We work with raising money and collecting items for the homeless in New York City and deliver those goods with a school project called Midnight Run. I am involved with any efforts the ladies are invested in related to mental health and empowering women athletes; when they are invested in giving back to the community, I am invested in them!”
What is it that drives your passion to help others and your community?
“Our local and worldwide communities have a plethora of talents and challenges, so my passion is to help others find and accentuate their talents to solve the problems our society faces. If I can inspire one person to dedicate their time and treasures to a cause they are passionate about, they, in turn, can inspire others to do the same.”
Tell us more about ROAR and the attention it is receiving.
“R.O.A.R. (Reaching Out Against Racism) is the name I came up with for a committee that Molloy Athletics has establishing to take on racism in all forms. The committee is made up of coaches, athletic administrators, athletes, and a faculty advisor. We are teaming up with other departments and colleges on No Locker For Racism, an awareness campaign and pledge for all athletes and coaches to take a stand against racism. Our community has responded well to our committee and we have a full line up of social media, in-person panels, and events happening for this upcoming school year!”
What is next for you? What would you like to achieve from here?
“Next up, we plan to continue our winning ways on and off the court. Our team is comprised of American and International student-athletes who excel in the classroom, community, and the court. We are looking forward to having our best season yet on the court by making the ECC Playoffs, but we also want to take our service to another level by pairing up with others schools to make a larger impact on women’s sports and mental health!”
Brendan wants his winning donation to go to The Trevor Project, a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
If you want to contribute to Brendan’s and our efforts in supporting The Trevor Project, click this link: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/!
We present to you our 2021 SPRTER College Impact Community Champion Award Winner, Brendan Caputo!
Make sure to follow him and the Molloy College Women’s Tennis team on SPRTER, Instagram, and Twitter to follow their future endeavors!
Download the SPRTER app now to learn about Brendan and the sporters we have on the platform and to buy awesome fan experiences from them!