It was a Bull Court Press this past Tuesday for Rotarians in Brandon as the University of South Florida's Head Women's Basketball Coach, Jose Fernandez visited to share about the current and future success of his phenomenal program. The club was treated to an extremely dynamic and passionate educator and coach that our community can truly be proud of!
We started with Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe paying homage to all of our past Rotarians that have passed away, most recently George Anello. It was a moving tribute to so many great, community-minded individuals that have shaped our club over the years. With that, we moved right into Happy Dollars, and who better to get the good vibes rolling than our very own Larry Fassett. Larry wanted to acknowledge all of the time and hard work that John Dwyer has put in at the Rotary Event Center. He also shared a story about his six year old grandson who was thought to have been lost at school, but it was because of a mix-up in communication. Larry stressed the importance of clear communication to our children on rules and guidelines! 
Jeff Reynolds was happy that Jose Fernandez was here as our guest speaker. Jeff was also happy/sad since he and Patty took their son, Jason, to the University of Virginia. His son was the 1st kid in the 1st class in the newly renovated Rotunda which was designed by Thomas Jefferson.  And in the "I want to stay out of the doghouse this week" department, John Gardner was happy that he remembered he had to leave early to pick up his wife at the airport. Hope you got there on time and didn't have to sleep on the couch, John!!

Maria Lewis continued the good vibes as she was happy as she is going to be a grandmother again. Congrats, Maria! Coach Fernandez was thankful for the start of school and the new class of students that he gets to work with this year. Go get 'em, Coach!

After we shared all of the happiness we could stand, it was time for the main event and Coach Fernandez! Coach started out by saying he has known Jeff Reynolds for 16 years (which we said we wouldn't hold against him, even though this may be questionable judgment on his associations). His wife and Jeff’s wife went to the same High School in Hawaii. It was truly an example of what a small world it is!

Coach Fernandez is beginning his 17th season with USF. He started coaching when he was 27 years old. His first year coaching, they won four games, his second year they won 14 games, and now under his guidance, USF has advanced to 12 postseason tournaments, including four NCAA Tournament berths, one of which being the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament during the 2005-06 season. As a sign of the team's success, Coach Fernandez let us know that the USF Women’s Basketball Team outsells the Men’s team in average attendance. They average 2,500 fans for their games. The program's success has led to four women being drafted by the WNBA! The USF Women's Basketball Team is also very academic focused as the team has had a 100% graduation rate proving that they are winners on both the basketball court! 

Coach Fernandez also discussed the international impact the team has had as they have eight student athletes on their team from all over the world. They offer 15 scholarships and recruit worldwide! 


Susan Thomason ended the day by winning the chance for the 50-50 drawing, but drew the seven of hearts. We all knew she had a lot of heart!!

This week we'll be celebrating Troy Dimsdale's birthday, Leila & Chris Papp's 5th Anniversary, Norma & Derrell Curry's 23rd Anniversary, Troy Dimsdale's 16th Club Anniversary and President Elect Dave Brown's 5th Anniversary!!

Key Upcoming Dates:

  • August/September Key Dates:
    • 6th - Guest Speaker - Dawn Hayes - “Labor”
    • 13th - Guest Speaker - TBD
    • 19th - Rotary Club of Brandon Monthly Board Meeting
    • 20th - Club Assembly/Fundraising Event Preparation
    • 24th - Bustin’ Clays - Fundraiser - Fish Hawk Sporting Clays
    • 27th - No Meeting!!
    • 29th - Quarterly Social - Stein & Vine