Uplifting Athletes transitions to new leadership team led by Executive Director Rob Long


Brett Brackett moves into General Manager role to complete leadership team

New Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Rob Long

Uplifting Athletes is excited to officially announce the promotions of Rob Long to Executive Director and Brett Brackett to General Manager.

The duo will comprise a new executive team formed in the final quarter of 2018. Uplifting Athletes former Executive Director Scott Shirley, who founded the organization in 2007, will continue to serve the Rare Disease Community through his position as a board member.

“Uplifting Athletes has been a wonderful journey for me and my family, and we’re excited about this new chapter,” Shirley said. “I was fortunate enough to have my team, the Penn State community, and ultimately, the nation, rally around a cause that I will always be deeply passionate about.”

The transition of leadership began when Long joined Uplifting Athletes in September 2016. Since that time, he has held multiple positions including Chapter Manager and Director of Rare Disease Engagement. Since he moved into his Director role, Long has significantly expanded the footprint of the organization within the Rare Disease Community by developing strong partnerships that have spawned growth on several fronts.

The former Syracuse All-American punter, who served as the inspiration for the Orange football program teaming up with Uplifting Athletes during his battle with a rare form of brain cancer, will continue to build what he started as the Director of Rare Disease Engagement while assuming the Executive Director title.

“Having the opportunity to step into this role and use my voice and experiences to help support the Rare Disease Community is a dream come true,” Long said. “Scott has created a strong foundation we will continue to develop upon. We have assembled a dynamic team at Uplifting Athletes and I believe great things are in store as we move forward as an organization.”

In addition to Long taking on an expanded role, Brackett has been elevated into the General Manager role for of the organization while also seeing to his duties as Director of Sports Impact. Brackett came to Uplifting Athletes in April 2017 after retiring from the NFL and has always been a strong advocate for the Rare Disease Community. He served as the Penn State Chapter President while playing wide receiver for the Nittany Lions and always had a passion for supporting the cause professionally.

“I’ve had the pleasure of walking alongside these two great men for many years,” Shirley added. “As an organization, we wanted to secure the future by recognizing their efforts and putting them in a position to amplify their impact on the communities we serve.”

A nonprofit organization founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes inspires the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport. A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans and typically lacks financial incentive to make and market new treatments. With a network of university chapters run by current college football student-athletes, Uplifting Athletes has established 28 chapters with Division I football programs across the country.

Since it was founded, Uplifting Athletes has raised more than $4.5 million in support of the Rare Disease Community, and a third of that, $1.5 million, has been given to fund rare disease research. The Young Investigator Draft has become our priority to funding rare disease research in the future.

The mission of Uplifting Athletes is accomplished through four charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders. For more information about Uplifting Athletes, visit www.upliftingathletes.org

Uplifting Athletes team (left to right): Rob Long, Andy Shay, Scott Shirley, John Trzeciak and Brett Brackett.

2 thoughts on “Uplifting Athletes transitions to new leadership team led by Executive Director Rob Long

  1. Scott, you built a great organization for a wonderful cause. I hope Uplifting Athletes continues with it’s success. I wish you the best in whatever endeavor you you are going to be involved in. I know you will be successful in whatever you do. Don Coldren

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