Speaking to the World
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ESPYS Jimmy V Perseverance Award Winner, Coach & Motivator
Rob Mendez grew up a passionate sports fan; his first word as an infant was “ball.” However, Rob was born with no arms or legs—the result of an extraordinarily rare condition called tetra-amelia syndrome, with very few known cases globally. While Rob couldn’t physically play sports, he didn’t let that stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a successful high school football coach, author, and speaker who now spends time inspiring students and professional athletes from the NFL and MLB. Read More >
Rob moves in a custom-made wheelchair that he operates with his shoulders. A fixture on the Bay Area high school football coaching scene for more than a dozen years, he diagrams plays on a smartphone attached to the chair, using a stylus that he maneuvers with his mouth.
Rob has been the subject of dozens of profiles in national media, including the ESPN documentary short feature, Who Says I Can’t? The film was nominated for a 2019 Emmy Award and was entered in the Tribeca Film Festival. Rob has made appearances on Rachel Ray, the NFL Network, ESPN and more. He appeared in Google’s “Year in Search Video” which was viewed over 150,000,000 times.
In September 2021, Rob released his memoir, Who Says I Can’t? - The Astonishing Story of a Fearless Life. Told with both humor and frankness, Who Says I Can’t? takes readers on Rob’s inspirational journey, from being raised by loving parents who wanted to afford him every chance for happiness to the emotional and physical hurdles he faced while seeking independence. Discussing how he landed his first coaching job, became the subject of an Emmy Award–nominated ESPN documentary, and received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY Awards, Rob takes audiences along on his remarkable story of overcoming adversity to achieve his dreams. Read Less ^
Who Says I Can’t Trailer
SC Featured Short
“Coach Rob’s journey proves that anything is possible. Always focusing on what he CAN do instead of what he can’t do – that is the true meaning of perseverance. Who Says I Can’t? inspires us all to push through setbacks and never give up on our dreams. Let’s all be like Coach Rob and show up every day for ourselves and those around us.”
“Rob’s contagious energy and unwavering relentlessness comes to life in this honest and raw memoir. As the person who spent a full year with Rob, filming his every move for our ESPN documentary, I was shocked at how much more I learned about Rob and his journey from this book. For anyone who has ever doubted themselves, Rob’s memoir is a must-read!”
“No matter where we come from in life, we all face challenges along the way. But faith, family, and friends can mean the difference between failure and success. Coach Rob’s story of overcoming adversity to achieve his dreams reminds us of the power we have as individuals to inspire those around us.”
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