Dominick Ciao, football coach at PCA-Tampa Bay partner school Berkeley Preparatory School, has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s coveted Double-Goal Coach Award presented by TeamSnap for his positive impact on youth athletes. Ciao is one of 50 national recipients of the Double-Goal Coach award, named for coaches who strive to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.
Ciao (center in photo, with Berkeley Preparatory School Athletic Director Bobby Reinhart, far left, and PCA-Tampa Bay's Mark Sakalosky) was selected to receive this award from among more than 2,400 nominees nationwide submitted by parents, administrators, players, and other coaches. Coach Ciao will receive a $200 prize, two tickets to a Tampa Bay Rays game, two tickets to a Tampa Bay Lightning game, a customized Tampa Bay Rays jersey, a customized Tampa Bay Lightning jersey, trophy, certificate, and mention within the websites and newsletters of PCA.
“I am thrilled that Dominick is being recognized in such a deserving way,” said Bobby Reinhart, Athletic Director at Berkeley Preparatory School. “Dominick is so much more than a football coach. He’s a mentor, a pillar of support, and a lifelong friend of everyone he coaches. I applaud PCA for the initiative to honor coaches like Dominick Ciao nationwide.”
The 25+ years of professional and high school coaching experience Coach Ciao possesses highlights his success on the field and ability to consistently produce results. However, the impact he has had on his players over those years reaches well beyond the football field.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Greg Schiano spent time working with Coach Ciao and was impacted by the way he treated all of his players. “Each and every player, including my sons, would say that Coach Ciao cares about them as people, not just as players,” said Schiano. “As I return to college coaching having worked with Dom, I know I return a better prepared coach both on and off the field.”
The life lessons players learn under Coach Ciao go far beyond the field and will benefit them after their careers are over. "The way I treat people today is because of his teachings on being thoughtful and knowing that to be truly special is to be selfless," said Nelson Agholor, current member of the Philadelphia Eagles and a former Berkeley Buccaneer. "He is a father figure to so many young men and ladies who have been around him.”
Monte Kiffin, a former NFL coach known for implementing the now famous “Tampa 2” defense, was also among the many who recommended Coach Ciao for this year’s award. Wrote Kiffin: “All the players that have played for him absolutely think the world of him, and after graduating many return time and time again to see him. A number of them have returned to coach with him after they finish college.”
Of his own approach to coaching, Ciao said, "Our philosophy here has always been that no win is more important than our players.”
In the Berkeley locker room hangs a sign that reads: “We need coaches who care about coaches, coaches who care about players, players who care about coaches and players who care about players."
This sign alone proves the strength of Ciao’s character. His understanding of the role sports plays in the lives of young athletes is what has allowed him to garner such strong support from the community, and is why he stands out as a 2016 Double-Goal Coach Award winner.