"As a coach, my mission is to help raise the quality of this world, by helping to raise the quality of the individuals who live in this world."  
-Founder, Coach Frank D.B. DiCocco

Providing character development programs and need-based scholarships to schools  across the US


Rex Lardner has spent over 35 years in sports television as a producer, marketing director, public relations representative, programming director, writer, and on-air commentator. He has worked for NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Turner Broadcasting, the World Wrestling Federation, and Intersport television. Lardner was also a Managing Partner in a sports marketing firm, Two Win Sports Marketing, and an Associate Commissioner for Conference USA. Lardner is currently in his tenth year as Managing Editor for two football trade publications as a part of AFM Media – American Football Monthly and Gridiron Strategies. Lardner, and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Boca Raton, FL. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Elisha "Cadillac" Harris

Elisha “Cadillac” Harris is a longtime teacher and coach in Hampton Roads.  Currently, he is teaching Advanced Physical Education and Driver’s Education at Indian River High School in Chesapeake. He has taught and coached football/track and field at schools all over Hampton Roads and Northern North Carolina, including Elizabeth City State University, Norfolk State University, Maury High School, Green Run High School and Kempsville High School. Cadillac earned his Masters degree in Administration and Supervision from George Washington University.  He donates as much of his “spare” time as possible to supporting community events, motivational speaking, volunteering at football camps and counseling young people of all ages.

james vint

James Vint has 18 years of coaching experience, including 14 years as a coordinator at the high school and college levels. Coach Vint is currently at Estacado High School in Lubbock, TX. Coach Vint has written two books on the pistol offense, 101 Pistol Run Plays and 101 Pistol Option Plays, published by Coaches Choice. Vint also has over a dozen videos on the Spread and Pistol Offense. He is widely sought after clinic speaker, speaking on topics on all three phases of the game. In 2002, Coach Vint began helping coaches implement character education and leadership development into their athletic programs. He has used The Playbook for Manhood with his own teams and in the classroom. 

nicholas d'addabbo

D'Addabbo graduated from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, and holds a Bachelor's of Science in Commerce & Business Administration majoring in finance and specializing in health care management. His role with the Foundation is through strategic and operational planning and execution.


meet our leadership team

Brandon Loehle
Computer Associate

Brandon Loehle is a 2016 Farmington High School Graduate currently pursuing a B.S. in Software Engineering at Quinnipiac University. He is responsible for website development, database management, and social media marketing.

tim beneski

Tim Beneski has been a teacher and coach for more than twenty years, with experience at East Granby Middle and High Schools, Tunxis Community and Technical College, and Avon Old Farms School.  He is currently a teacher and coach at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Beneski grew up in East Granby and Suffield, Connecticut.  He graduated Northwest Catholic High School in 1983 and Boston College in 1987.  He earned an M.Ed. from the University of Hartford in 1992. Beneski is also an ordained Christian minister and has assisted in providing spiritual guidance to his students, as well as performing weddings, christenings, and memorial services, for more than a decade.

teddy keaton

A native of Brewton, Alabama, Keaton received his bachelor’s degree in 1999 from Stillman College. Keaton began his coaching career as an assistant football coach and director of football operations at Stillman. As an assistant coach for six seasons, he served as running backs coach, special teams coach and recruiting coordinator. Keaton also coached professionally with the Odessa Roughnecks in Odessa, Texas and served as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. As a professional and collegiate coach, Keaton has sent over 50 players to the National Football League and/or the Arena Football League. He is a member of the advisory board for the Foundation, specifically for athletics and scholarships. Teddy now coaches at Miles College in Fairfield, AL.

robert f. mahoney, cpa
financial advisor


john izzi, pHD

A native of Connecticut, Dr. Izzi received the B.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University.  He lived in Paris in his twenties, where he completed the license es lettres, the maitrise, and the doctorat in Philosophy at the Sorbonne.  He now resides in Paris and in the United States, where he is Professor of Philosophy at Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont.  He was a consultant to Harvard University’s Laspau Program in the Caribbean and a Fulbright Scholar in Haiti.  He has presented papers at international and national professional conferences and published articles in scholarly journals on Ancient and Contemporary Philosophy, some of which have been reprinted in books devoted to particular philosophical themes and thinkers. Dr. Izzi's role with the Foundation is as an educational development advisor.

emil sapere

Sapere graduated from USAF Business School, within the United States Air Force where he served from 1964-1968.  He was veteran of the Vietnam War as a Combat Photographer and upon his completion of duty, he began his distinguished career of 43 years at Hartford Healthcare Systems, Hartford, CT prior to his retirement in September, 2012.  Sapere’s responsibilities included Director of Support Services at The Institute of Living and with Hartford Hospital as the Associate Director of Facilities Development.  He is now Founder and President of Facility Management Solutions Group, LLC, a consulting company specializing in healthcare construction, project management and property development. Sapere’s role with the foundation will be to coordinate local and national events and to act as a national spokesperson for the organization.


nicole dicocco 
executive director & Spokeswoman


adam baker

Baker graduated from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems Management. In September of 2011 he was hired by the Waterbury Republican & American as a Sports Assistant, where he still works. Baker's role with the Foundation is  communications with coaches, educators and other leaders looking to involve themselves with the Foundation's initiatives.



lou dicocco
executive director

In addition to being a director of the H.O.P.E. Foundation, in the 1970's DiCocco became the founder and developer of Empire Development, LLC, with buildings constructed nationwide.  Since 1980 he has been an entrepreneur focusing on commercial real estate development and contracting.  In 1984, DiCocco founded Alternative Heath Care, a publicly traded company consisting of medical centers, physical therapy centers, and an HMO serving the Northeastern United States. While affiliated with AHC, DiCocco served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.   



kathy dicocco, mba 
executive directoR

In addition to being a director of the H.O.P.E. Foundation, DiCocco served as an Inventory Cost Accounting Manager from the mid 1970's to the early 1980s.  Since the 1980's she has served actively in various roles as an accountant.  Throughout the 1990's, Kathy taught accounting and finance at two Connecticut colleges.  DiCocco has participated in extensive fundraising for a local boys' boarding school and for Boston College. She still involves herself actively with various community service and fundraising for local charities and church organizations.