As the 2016 NBA season comes to a close, the San Antonio Spurs fans must also say goodbye to Rob Wicall, the man behind The Coyote mask.
Wicall has been The Coyote mascot for nearly two decades, continually exciting and entertaining the crowds with wacky stunts and silly tricks.
“The decision to leave was such a difficult decision because I didn’t want to let the fans down,” Wicall said.
In 2014 Wicall even won the award for Best Mascot of the Year, and rightfully so. The Coyote is an integral part of the San Antonio Spurs family; he brings happiness and laughter to fans both young and old.
But always being an entertainer isn’t as easy as it seems.
“The fans expected The Coyote to be just as dynamic and energetic as ever, and I always made sure that he was, no matter what the detriment might be to my own physicality,” said Wicall.
Over the years, Wicall has racked up quite a few injuries: a busted chin, pulled muscles, and aching feet.
“I rolled my ankle once doing a 360 dunk and couldn’t run on it for around two years,” recalled Wicall.
On top of the physical exertion that being The Coyote entails, Wicall was also diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, which is a form of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and large joints. The condition reduces flexibility in the spine and can cause back and joint pain.
This diagnosis didn’t stop The Coyote, though. In order to continue delighting Spurs fans with his antics game after game, Wicall made his health a top priority. Airrosti was a key player in keeping The Coyote pain free.
“Airrosti not only was integral in my recovery of injuries, but it was also essential in my ability to continue doing my job on a daily basis. I often relied on Airrosti to release tightness I was experiencing,” said Wicall.
For roughly the last seven years, Wicall has been working with Airrosti’s Dr. Blaire Bradley. When a pain or injury arose, Dr. Bradley would pinpoint the root cause and treat the issue directly at the source. Combining this hands-on treatment with at-home active rehab exercises helped Wicall stay flexible and strong through every performance.
“I am absolutely convinced that my career would have ended sooner if it were not for the continued efforts of my Airrosti doctor,” said Wicall.
Now that Wicall has ended his career as The Coyote, he has some lofty retirement plans. Aside from writing and producing, he wants to continue to educate people about ankylosing spondylitis.
“I want to do whatever I can to bring awareness, and ultimately money to assist research, to the plight of arthritis sufferers everywhere,” said Wicall.
While Spurs fans will miss the man behind The Coyote mask, Wicall is excited for this new part of his life, and Airrosti is here to help whenever he needs us.