Born with no arms or legs, who is football coach Rob Mendez?
Football coach Rob Mendez is the junior varsity football coach at Prospect High School in Saratoga, California. Born with a rare genetic disorder, Mendez has gone on to defy odds and make a name for himself in college football. Alley Sport introduces you to this inspirational gem with a ‘never say die’ attitude.
Football coach Rob Mendez’s tale of overcoming a tough childhood
Rob Mendez was born in May, 1988 in Gilroy, California with a rare congenital disorder called tetra-amelia syndrome, which prevents the formation of arms and legs in the utero. His mother was informed of Rob’s condition 8 months into her pregnancy.
His childhood was tough not just for himself, but also for his parents who found it difficult to initially come to terms with his situation. His mother admitted to covering him up in public to avoid Rob getting stares from people on the street, and his father opened up about Rob’s problems with alcohol in his early adult life. His parents and two sisters taught him to embrace his differences and aim for the stars; and that he did.
Football coach Rob Mendez defied the odds to reach where he is today
Rob developed an early liking towards football and learnt to create game-plans by playing ‘Madden’, a football video game series. “Realizing I couldn’t play football, but I could coach football, that was the way for me to never give up”, said Rob in an emotional speech at the ESPY Awards in 2019 where he was awarded the Jimmy V award for perseverance.
Mendez is now entering into his 3rd year as the junior varsity football coach at Prospect High School in Saratoga, California, after having previous gigs as an assistant coach. He aims to be an “established, respected football coach” 20 years down the road instead of “just a great coach for a man with no arms and legs”.
Football coach Rob Mendez is also an artist and has taught himself to sketch by the use of just his mouth. He posts his work on instagram and continues to draw as a hobby and as a vocation. He also works as a motivational speaker and continues to inspire millions of people around the world to achieve and fulfill their dreams no matter what obstacles they encounter.