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.