By Jack Day
This is the story of Phil “Coach Dad” Caito, a 76 year old man living with Parkinson’s disease. Phil used to play football at William E. Tolman High School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island during the 1950’s. He won state twice. Then his son David won it twice in the 90’s. Now as the head coach, David is hoping to lead the team to yet another state championship, all while Phil cheers them on from the sidelines.
You see the unique thing about Coach Dad is that he has not missed a game in three years, and he has been to almost every practice in that same amount of time. He truly is the Tolman Tiger’s greatest fan and his presence has positively impacted the players.
Senior Nathan Gagnon said, “I’ve been playing Tolman football for four years and he’s been here every year. He comes to every game and he always brings emotional support.”
It used to take Phil up to 4 hours to get ready for each game, but he has made some changes in his routine that have cut the time to 2 hours and he can still stay for entire games. Just seeing his face there everyday means the world to the kids playing and it is teaching them all a valuable lesson in not giving up when life tries to knock you down. David says about his dad:
“He’s the best dad anybody could ever have, and if I could be half the man he is it would be a major accomplishment.”
What do you think about Coach Dad? Would you have the gumption to do what he does everyday? To be that dedicated takes a lot determination and strength, two things I think Phil Caito possesses in excess. Please leave your comments and share this awesome story with your family and friends.