A positive attitude and having the desire to overcome any obstacles is something that many people aspire to do. Recently, a beloved high school football coach who relies on the use of a wheelchair for mobility and who has demonstrated both of these qualities was rewarded by all those whose life he has touched with a brand new 2011 Toyota Sienna Rampvan.
At halftime during the Arizona Division I State Football Tournament Nov. 10th football game between Hamilton and Chandler High Schools, Hamilton football coach Marc Strohmaier was presented with a replacement for his current handicap van which was on its last leg. The brand new Toyota Sienna rampvan is wheelchair accessible and was customized and given to Coach Strohmaier by a team effort from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Avondale Toyota, BraunAbility, Ability Center and the Arizona Cardinals.
Strohmaier has proven that even though life can throw you a curveball, when you have a positive attitude and the will to follow your dreams, you can make anything happen. As a high school student, he was a star football player, but at 16 his dreams of playing in college were shattered when he was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
He went on to the University of Arizona, leaving his visions of playing football at the door. After graduation, he worked in marketing, but switched to teaching at Hamilton High School in Arizona. He began coaching the high school football team, one of the top football programs in the nation, and earned respect and admiration from his players and other coaches. After a former player, Devin McCafferty, realized that Strohmaier’s handicap accessible van was nearly immobile, he set in motion a plan to get his beloved former coach a new vehicle. With the help of his father Brian McCafferty, owner of the local Avondale Toyota, as well as contributions and assistance from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, BraunAbility, Ability Center and the Arizona Cardinals, Devin McCafferty was able to give back to the coach who had changed his life.
Strohmaier received the wheelchair van at halftime amid cheers, whistles and applause from the many lives that he has touched while coaching at Hamilton High School.