Check out this sweet story about a high school football team's biggest fan: the coach's dad.

This high school football team's biggest fan may not be who you'd expect.

Check out this sweet story about a high school football team's biggest fan: the coach's dad.
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The Tolman Tigers' biggest fan hasn't missed a game in three years.

And he makes it to most of the high school football team's practices, too. He cheers on the team, builds awesome relationships with the teenage players, and shows support in any way he can.

Coach Dad chats with a student during practice. All images via WPRI.

They call him "Coach Dad" — he's the head coach's dad. And he happens to have Parkinson's.

76-year-old Phil "Coach Dad" Caito has had Parkinson's disease for 18 years. He says, "It's a chore to get through the day," but that's certainly not the only thing he wants to talk about in WPRI's report of his story.

Coach Dad discusses his impressive football record.

Instead, he chats about football, the team, and his son Dave Caito, who's the team's head coach. "I won the state [championship] twice, 1956 and 1957." Coach Dad explains. "My son won it twice [too]."

"He comes to every game, and he always brings emotional support."

The players, including senior Nathan Gagnon, certainly love to have Coach Dad around. Dave Caito explains that he's glad his team gets to see firsthand the qualities he tries to nurture in them.

"If I could be half the man he is, I'd have an accomplishment."

"He's the best dad anyone could ever have. If I could be half the man he is, I'd have an accomplishment."

Coach Dad's role in the Tigers' team shows what it's like to have a truly amazing role model.

Having someone there to cheer you on during your best day doesn't even compare to having someone who's there with you through the hard days as well. And it's pretty darn awesome that he's normalizing living with Parkinson's at the same time.

To hear more from Coach Dad, check out WPRI's clip of the story, below:


If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.