August 7, 2019

Amanda Belsito Named USCAA Coach of the Year

By B&SC Athletics Team

Amanda Belsito Named USCAA Coach of the Year

As a player and now a coach, Amanda Belsito has worked to help Bryant & Stratton College’s Women’s Soccer program to receive national recognition. Those long hours paid off when she was named the USCAA Coach of the Year for 2018.

“I’m very grateful and super excited,” she said.

Belsito came to Bryant & Stratton in 2012 and played for four years earning the title of team captain and All-American honors. After graduation she served as a graduate assistant coach and has held the head coach job for the past two years during which the team has set several school records.

She chose the smaller school during her senior year of high school when a Bryant & Stratton coach and mentor took her in during a time that Belsito says “lacked guidance.”

“I had other opportunities to go to bigger schools but I was very indecisive and I had a lack of guidance my senior year at home and at school,” she said. “In my interview with the coach from Bryant & Stratton I felt like I was getting individualized attention. I felt like she was the only one that cared.”

Once enrolled the smaller, supportive staff and campus was a good fit.

“They helped me with everything and even though I planned on moving on after I earned my associate’s degree they opened up the bachelor’s program and I was already so comfortable and happy I ended up staying,” she said.

When Belsito first arrived at Bryant & Stratton the women’s soccer program was so small she said they “barely had a roster.”

“But everything about Bryant & Stratton is so progressive. Every year we take a step forward and I love being part of that,” she said.

Belsito earned an associate’s degree in medical assisting and a bachelor’s degree in health services administration. She recently enrolled in the business administration bachelor’s program beginning in January, 2019.

Academic achievement is a cornerstone of her soccer program.

“There is a reason we call them student athletes, the student comes first,” she said. “Being exceptional in school makes them a more, well-rounded person.

“It’s so important for them to take their education seriously,” she said. “I want every single one of my student athletes to be successful and disciplined in the classroom because that sets them on the right path professionally.”

When Belsito, 24, took on the coaching position she became coach over girls she was competing with the previous season. The transition from equal to mentor is one she is most proud of.

“I am so proud, they bring me to tears. I’m very pleased and grateful with the way the girls have accepted to me into the program as their coach,” she said.

This spring she will graduate the last of the team members she played on the field with.

“I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into this program with them. It’s very emotional,” she said.

And those players are ending their college careers with a decorated history. After beating the Bobcats’ hometown rival SUNY, the team went into overtime during five different matchups. Ultimately the ladies finished third in the nation with seven Academic All-Americans, two first-team All-Americans and two second team All-Americans.

“It is extremely rewarding working with student athletes and watching them develop and grow,” Belsito said. “Now I get to send them off into the workplace and watch them succeed in life. I could do that forever. I can’t get enough of it.”