USF Diabetes Center
USF Health

About the Coaches

Special thanks to Sam Fuld, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder for his commitment to this camp. We are excited to have the following successful T1D athletes volunteer their time to work with our campers!

Sam Fuld

Sam Fuld

Sam Fuld is a Major League Baseball outfielder with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Despite being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 10, Fuld began his baseball career by twice batting .600 in high school, during which time Baseball America ranked him 19th in the country. He played college baseball at Stanford. There, he was a two-time All American, set the school record for career runs scored, and established the College World Series record for career hits. Fuld was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2004. He was an All Star two years later in the Florida State League. A year after that, he was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Arizona Fall League. In the minors, as a result of his fearless defense, he was referred to as "a crash test dummy with a death wish", a "human wrecking ball act," a "wall magnet," and a "manager's dream and a trainer's worst nightmare."

Fuld made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2007. He became a fan favorite for his acrobatic defense, and his tendency to run into outfield walls while making spectactular catches. Despite his batting .299 in his longest stint with the Cubs, the team never gave him a consistent chance, and limited his play to only late-season call-ups over three years. After the 2010 season, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. Fuld made the Rays' 2011 opening day roster, and won the jobs of starting left fielder and lead-off hitter by mid-April. Due to early-season heroics, including a "Superman-esque" catch, he was dubbed "Superman", "Super Sam", and "The Legendary Sam Fuld". He became an internet legend as his catch was put to Superman-theme music in a YouTube video, and Twitter tweets about him went viral. Sam played for the Minnesota Twins and the Oakland A's in 2014.

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Bill Gullickson

Bill Gullickson MLB career (1979–1987) is a former major league baseball pitcher who played for six different major-league teams, in Canada, the U.S. and Japan, during an 18-year professional career, of which 14 seasons were spent in MLB.

Gullickson was selected in the June 1977 Major League Baseball Draft by the Montreal Expos, the second player to be drafted. He finished second behind Steve Howe in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1980, after a season in which he went 10–5 with an earned run average (ERA) of 3.00, and set a major-league record for most strikeouts in a game by a rookie, with 18. Gullickson held that record for 18 years, until& Kerry Wood broke it with 20 strikeouts in 1998. Gullickson currently holds the Montreal Expos-Washington Nationals all-time strikeout record for a single game with 18 strikeouts.

In 1981, he helped the Expos to their only division title with a 7–9, 2.81 record. The Expos lost the National League Championship Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games; the Dodgers went on to defeat the New York Yankeesfor the 1981 World Series title in six games. Except for the 1981 strike season, Gullickson was in double figures in wins for every year onward.

In 1988 he accepted a two-million-dollar offer to pitch in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants. Although only in Japan for a short time, Gullickson left behind a positive legacy. When he was in Japan, it was considered a miracle that Gullickson, a patient of type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, played a professional sport. Since 1998, the Japan Diabetes Mellitus Society (JADMC) has placed the "Gullickson Award" for the patient who is deemed a superior influence on society.
At the age of 12, Sam Fuld, an aspiring baseball player who also had diabetes, met Gullickson, and talked to him for two minutes. "That was enough to inspire me," Fuld said.[1] "Any time I can talk to young diabetic kids, I look forward to that opportunity," said Gullickson.[2] Fuld is now a major league outfielder with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Genevieve

Genevieve King

Born in Tampa Florida, Genevieve developed T1D in 1979 at the age of 16. She played junior State and National tennis tournaments from 1973-81 and played for the University of Texas as an academic and athletic all-american from 1981 - 1985. Professionally she competed in the the U.S. Open from 1978 - 1981 and again in 1985. She played on the Jr. Wightman Cup Team and won the Buick Mixed Doubles Championships in 1989. She ranked top 150 in the world on WTA women’s tour ranking list. She has been teaching as a USPTA Professional 1 for more than 25 years. Her family is a founding family of the USF Diabetes Center and she works closely with the JDRF.

Madison

Madison Smith

Madison Smith is a former University of Florida Dazzler, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16. Since her diagnosis, she has worked hard to continue dancing and cheering while tightly managing her T1D. During her time as a Dazzler, she danced for the University at various athletic events including basketball, football, and soccer games. At the age of 22, Madison is currently a senior in Nursing school, an honors student, and works as a research assistant for the College of Nursing.

Stacey

Stacey Simmons

Stacey Simmons is one of Pinellas County's most respected coaches. Born and raised in Clearwater, Florida, Stacey began his legacy as one of the state's premier student-athletes. Stacey completed his high school career at Dunedin High School as an All-County baseball player and All-American in football and track and field. Because of his talent and relentless work ethic, Stacey earned a full football and track scholarship to The University of Florida.

As a Gator, Stacey was a 7 time All S.E.C. performer and 3 time NCAA All-American breaking 3 UF Track and Field records. Because of his success at the collegiate level, Stacey had the opportunity to compete internationally and was a member of the USA track team.

In 1990, Simmons graduated with a B.S. in exercise and sports sciences and was selected the 83rd player in the NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. After two seasons with the Colts, Simmons spent 8 more seasons in professional football, winning 2 world championships with the Tampa Bay Storm.

Simmons continues to utilize his experiences as an athlete, motivator and coach to sharpen athlete's abilities. He has helped many athletes reach the pinnacle of their sport. Former trainees include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball and track and field. Simmons has also helped numerous athletes improve mechanics, technique and agility to improve performance that has led to college scholarships and professional contracts for many athletes.

Michael

Michael Findling

Michael Findling is a 13-year Tennis Teaching Professional and 24-year Tennis Player. He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1998, and since then has made it a goal to promote diabetes management through an active and healthy lifestyle. He is a former International Tennis Federation participant, collegiate athlete at Western Michigan University and Michigan State University, and a Director of Tennis at Red Run Country Club. He has coached numerous players into the national and regional ranks, who have continued on to the collegiate tennis level, but enjoys teaching all levels of play: from the 3-year old toddlers to the 80-year old “Child-At-Heart.” When not on the tennis court, you will most likely find him smiling outside trying some new action sport.

Lew

Lew Finnegan

Lew was born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996 and always was a very active child and even after his T1D diagnoses. He was back playing sports within a few days of his diagnosis! He graduated from Bentley University as a collegiate basketball player and played professional basketball in Germany.

Chad

Chad Bobik

Diagnosed with T1D at age 9, Chad immediately participated in cutting edge treatment study at the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami. A former collegiate basketball player at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Business Administration. He currently works with Asante, maker of the Asante Insulin Pump. His wife also has T1D and they have a son and daughter that keep them busy!

David

David Ochotorena

David grew up in Tampa, Florida and attended Jesuit High School where he played football and baseball. As a sophomore he helped the Tigers to their most recent baseball state championship in 2000 and as a senior led the Tiger football team to it's first ever 12 win season. David went on to Princeton University where he played football and earned his degree in Economics in 2006. As a senior he helped lead the Tigers to the program's best record in 10 seasons. David was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes suddenly in 2009 at the age of 26. Since then, he has successfully managed his diabetes, allowing him to compete in a number of races and competitions, including the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and the Tough Mudder in Tampa.

Jenny

Jenny Welch

Jenny Welch is a former catcher with Florida International University in Miami. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 6 years old at Duke University Medical Center. Diabetes has definitely added its ups and downs to her athletic career, but it has never stopped her from doing what she loves. Jenny says, "It is a challenge to live and play a sport with diabetes, but it is something that if you monitor it correctly and take all the necessary steps you can perform at the same levels as other athletes that do not have diabetes. People in life are always faced with obstacles, and I made sure to not make Diabetes one of mine."

Renato

Renato Proia

Renato was a redshirted, walk-on kicker for USF's football team and was also a goalkeeper on the USF men's soccer team. He averaged 46 yards per punt as a senior at Mariner High, including one 73-yard punt and also posted 28 touchbacks as a kickoff man. As a soccer goalie, he tallied 16 shutouts in goal at Mariner High and was a Bright Futures scholar.

Scott

Scott Kneifl

Scott Kneifl has served nine seasons as head volleyball coach at Wayne State College, guiding the Wildcats to an impressive 224-80 record during that time, including a 125-45 mark in Northern Sun Conference games. He became the school's all-time wins leader on October 12, 2013 with his 215th career win, a 3-0 sweep over Minnesota State.

Kneifl has led Wayne State College to eight NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances while coaching four All-Americans (Emily Schroeder in 2006 and 2007 and Jennifer Hefner in 2009 and 2010). He is a two-time NSIC Coach of the Year (2005, 2009) and has led the Wildcats to nine straight 20+ win seasons. His teams have been nationally ranked for 60 straight weeks, a streak dating back to September 28, 2009. Kneifl's teams also excel in the classroom, having earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for seven straight seasons with his 2012 team recording a stellar team grade point average of 3.71. Scott's son Jacob,12 years old, was diagnosed with T1D when he was seven years old.

Andrea

Andrea Barman

Born in Middleton, Wisconsin, Andrea was diagnosed with TID at the age of four, just days before starting kindergarten. She instantly scrambled to meet with people at the school and teach them everything she could about diabetes. She grew up playing a variety of sports: volleyball, basketball, softball and track and field, but decided to turn her focus to volleyball once she started high school. She switched to an insulin pump at the age of 10 which helped her be able to better manage her diabetes while playing all of her sports. She began to play club volleyball in Wisconsin for Capital Volleyball Academy which assisted her in earning a full volleyball scholarship to attend Presbyterian College in South Carolina, a small Division 1 liberal arts college. She was a four year starter at PC, playing middle blocker. She earned post-season accolades of Big South All-Conference Freshman Team, 3-time Big South All-Conference Academic Team, and Big South All-Conference Second Team her senior year. She holds a handful of career records at PC for blocking, kills per set, and attack percentage. She is supported by her parents and four siblings and will graduate in May 2014 when she plans to continue on in her volleyball endeavors by playing volleyball overseas in Europe and eventually attend grad school for a Masters in Accounting.

Sean

Sean Wilkins

A native of Tampa, Sean developed TID in November of 1988 when he was he was 7 years old. As a goalkeeper at Riverside Senior High School and later at Brandon High, he posted a .86 goals against average over his three year starting career. He was also named to the Hillsborough’s All County team. In college he was the starting goalie for the University of Florida Club Soccer team that went to the National Collegiate Club Championships in 2004 and he was a 5-time participant in the prestigious Kelme Super Clubs tournament. Since 2002 Sean has been an activity leader with the Florida Diabetes Camp and will be celebrating 14 years as a camp staff member.

Krista

Krista Sparkman

Born in Tampa, Kristina started cheerleading and dancing at the age of three. Seven years later, she joined a competitive All Star cheerleading team. She competed nationally with both the Tampa Bay All Stars and the Brandon All Stars. In high school, she managed to juggle cheerleading at Brandon High School along with her competitive All Star team. She attended USF and cheered for four years on the All Girl team while earning her degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with focuses in Criminology and Sociology. It wasn't until 2009 that Kristina got diagnosed with T1D at the age of 24. Since the very beginning, she vowed to not only take her diagnosis seriously, but to spread awareness as well. She has advocated for people living with T1D in Washington, DC and also in local Congressional offices. Kristina married a fellow USF grad in 2010 and had a healthy baby boy in August, 2011.

Charlotte Nowak

Growing up in West Palm Beach, Charlotte Nowak was diagnosed with T1D in 2004 at the age of 9. She has attended the Florida Diabetes Camp as either a camper or staff member since she was diagnosed. Throughout middle school and high school she played volleyball and basketball and played for the Wellington Wolverines travel basketball team. In high school, Charlotte was the founder and captain of her school's volleyball team. In college, Charlotte never let her T1D get in the way, and is a member of the University of Florida's Crew team. With correct monitoring and control of her diabetes, Charlotte continues to lead an active lifestyle.

Kristina Rosa

Kristina Rosa

Born in Tampa, Kristina started cheerleading and dancing at the age of three. Seven years later, she joined a competitive All Star cheerleading team. She competed nationally with both the Tampa Bay All Stars and the Brandon All Stars. In high school, she managed to juggle cheerleading at Brandon High School along with her competitive All Star team. She attended USF and cheered for four years on the All Girl team while earning her degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with focuses in Criminology and Sociology. It wasn't until 2009 that Kristina got diagnosed with T1D at the age of 24. Since the very beginning, she vowed to not only take her diagnosis seriously, but to spread awareness as well. She has advocated for people living with T1D in Washington, DC and also in local Congressional offices. Kristina married a fellow USF grad in 2010 and had a healthy baby boy in August, 2011.

Brendan Cunningham

Brendan Cunningham

A senior offensive lineman (center to be specific) on the Hamilton College football team, he was diagnosed with T1D in November of 2009. He is working on a B.A. in Public Policy and pursuing a career related to legislative policy/nonprofit lobbying in Washington, D.C. "When I got diagnosed, I made it a goal of mine to continue to play the sport I love to show younger kids with diabetes that anything is possible if you take care of yourself, so it's awesome to have the opportunity to further that goal by helping out at this camp."

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