Connie Capozzi-Brown knows the score—she’s been keeping it since the age of six when she first hit the courts,
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Her sister Joan was the one slated for tennis lessons, but from the moment Connie picked up a racquet, she was tagged a natural. Much to the amazement of her parents and the chagrin of her sister, she could hit a ball faster and farther than her nine-year-old sibling.
Over the course of the next nineteen years, Connie won or placed in more matches than this column could comfortably fit. Tennis player at nine; national champion in singles and doubles at 10, she went on to win or be runner up in over 65 tournaments.
She trained with the best: Australian instructor Harry Hopman. She also rubbed elbows with such tennis greats as Jimmy Connors and Billie Jean King. In 1982 she was the first woman to be inducted into the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame with athletes such as Joe Nuxhall (Baseball); Jerry Lucas (Basketball); Weeb Ewbank and Ara Parseghian (Football), and Federal Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (First Commissioner of Major League Baseball). She considers this honor her greatest achievement.
Talent and good sportsmanship have also earned Connie numerous prestigious titles throughout the years, among them “Miss National Jaycee” for appearance and conduct on and off the court, Houston, TX; “Most Valuable Player” at the National Girls’ Team Tournament, Charleston, WV; “Athlete of the Year,” Veterans of Foreign Wars; and recognition by Sports Illustrated and the Cye Young Award committee. In addition, she was honored with the designation “Middletown Ambassador of Good Will” and picked by Queen Elizabeth to play at Wimbleton. Connie’s teaching experience is no less impressive.
In 1981 Connie stepped away from life on the tennis circuit to embrace a new and equally active lifestyle. She met and married Dennis Brown, a successful property manager. The couple settled in Miami, but later moved to San Diego where Dennis had accepted a new and challenging position. For the next twenty-three years, Connie wore hats of many different colors as she worked by her husband’s side. When Dennis switched from property management to the wholesale and retail business, she was buyer, sales person, human resource contact, and sales manager. When occasion arose to buy a lucrative screen printing franchise, she pitched right in to support her husband. Later, Connie branched out to help an attorney friend, and for five years she concentrated on all aspects of legal research.
In 2006, after twenty-three years in San Diego, the couple moved to Florida to be near Connie’s family. Golf had become a favorite pastime and Beacon Woods was an ideal place to pursue it. Like so many of our neighbors, Connie is a “transplant” who brings to the community a friendly smile, a willingness to pitch in and help, and a wealth of good karma.