Former Florida Tech Coach Pat Cappola Remembered For Passion of the Game
By Florida Tech // July 16, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – From the time he was a young boy, the golf course became a sanctuary for former Florida Tech head men’s and women’s golf coach Pat Cappola.
Whether he was bettering his own game, giving tips to others, or following alongside his father as a youngster, Cappola’s fairway of life was simply a tiny white ball and a bag of clubs.
He recently passed away at the age of 70.
The oldest of five children, Cappola’s life revolved around the game he loved. In the last several years, Cappola would play golf upwards of five to six times per week.
Before he was able to swing a club his mother would drive him and his four siblings to the course, where they would typically picnic alongside their father as he carded his routine round. The sport was so engrained in his everyday life that his wife Gayle typically told people, “He’d golf in his sleep if he could.”
Cappola’s knack and devotion to the game was evident and uncanny after taking the reins of a then-growing Panther program in 2005. In five seasons (2005-10) with the men, Cappola led Florida Tech to back-to-back regional berths, including the program’s first in 2008.
In addition, he guided Anthony Klingensmith to medalist honors at the 2007 Sunshine State Conference Championships. Doing double duty as both the men’s and women’s coach from 2007-10, Cappola directed Florida Tech Sports Hall of Famer Daniela Iacobelli to consecutive regional bids and a spot in the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championship as a senior.
“It was always a pleasure to work with Pat,” Athletics Director Bill Jurgens said.
“His enthusiasm and love for golf was always apparent. He gave a lot to the team and he was very instrumental in advancing the program during the time he coached.”
His passion for teaching his players was apparent, but it went well beyond that. He was known to work with neighborhood children on their golf game and took time to help anyone who had questions about golf.
Cappola is survived by his wife and daughter Christine.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, July 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Indialantic.