National Collegiate Flag Football Championships
The National Collegiate Flag Football Championships Hall of Fame enshrined UCF Alumnus Leisha Cavallaro (Class of 2011) into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony in December 2016 in Pensacola, Florida. She joins Nick Brigati, a former UCF IM Sports graduate assistant, as the only two UCF Knights in the Hall of Fame for officiating. Two other Knights, Brandon Baroody (2012) and Drew Hill (2011) are in the NCFFC Hall of Fame as players.
Quick thinking, strategically-based decision making, confidence and humility are all attributes Cavallaro says she learned while playing flag football and working at the Recreation and Wellness Center. “I gained the ability to logically and strategically think through situations to respond in a more efficient manner especially in stressful situations. Everything I learned (as an UCF RWC staff member and official) has rolled over into my personal and professional life even now, six years after I graduated,” says Cavallaro.
Cavallaro was a successful flag football official and player during her time at UCF. Her accomplishments on the flag football field include:
• First female to capture two All-American Awards in officiating in 2008 and 2009
• Won NIRSA Flag Football Championships CoRec Most Valuable Player Award and All-American
• First female to win tournament MVP and be an All-American Official
• 2009 UCF CoRec National Championship Team
Cavallaro, who earned a psychology degree at UCF in 2011, begins working at Travelers Insurance in St. Paul, Minnesota later this month as an actuarial assistant. An actuarial uses statistics to analyze and manage risk. She says she’s always enjoyed the constant challenge of officiating, “Not only do you need to know the rules of the game, you need to be able to apply them, be in the right position to see the play clearly, make judgement calls, be confident, trust your partners working with you, manage unruly players just to name a few. Officiating requires that you are honest with yourself in that you will never be perfect and you must be open to constructive criticism and be willing to constantly work to improve yourself.”
Cavallaro, who earned a Psychology degree at UCF in 2011, begins working at Travelers Insurance in St. Paul, Minnesota later this month as an actuarial assistant. An actuarial uses statistics to analyze and manage risk.
She says she’s always been grateful for the skills she developed through officiating at UCF, “I had to learn to accept if I made a mistake and not just focus on that one error because that just sets you up for continual failure; but instead be confident enough in myself that I would learn from it and not let that mistake impact the next decision I had to make.”
Photo: Cavallaro is the first female to capture two All-American Awards. She was honored in consecutive years in 2008 and 2009.