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Obituary: American wheelchair rugby player Dan McCauley dies

man American wheelchair rugby player. Image credit: International Wheelchair Rugby Federation

The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation reported yesterday that American wheelchair rugby player Dan McCauley died.  He was due to be  inducted into the USQRA Hall of Fame at Nationals in Houston next month after being unanimously voted in 23 – 0.


The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation said of his McCauley, “His knowledge of and passion for the sport, his intelligence and insights, and his warm and positive personality made him a great asset to IWRF and valued member of the wheelchair rugby family. He will be missed.” USA Wheelchair Rugby said of his passing, “The rugby world lost an amazing man and leader. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts. Thank you Dan for all you gave to our sport.”

McCauley was part of the gold medal American team at the inaugural IWRF World Championship in 1995.  He played on several other World Championship teams for the United States, and was named to a national all-star team.  During his club career, he mainly played for Southern California’s Sharp Shadow.  He also coached, including the team at Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association.

Off the court, McCauley was a leader in the international wheelchair rugby community.  For many years, he served as the president of the  IWRF Americas Zone.  Prior to the creation of the IWRF, he was very involved in the international development of sport.  He served on the IWAS Wheelchair Rugby Executive Committee.  In 2010, he was one of the founders of the Directors of IWRF.  At one point, he was a member of the IWRF Classification System Review Committee. He traveled the world to promote the game, including a 2009 trip to Mexico City to assist in the development of the sport in Mexico.


McCauley took up the sport after attending a concert.  He had been approached after the concert by  Dr. Anne Marie Glenn, the founder of San Diego Wheelchair Sports and the Best of the West tournament.  She encouraged him to check out the sport.  After watching one local practice, he fell in love with the sport.

Outside of sport, McCauley  had worked an engineer at Qualcomm for many years. He is survived by his wife of many years, Lisa McCauley .

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

4 Comments on Obituary: American wheelchair rugby player Dan McCauley dies

  1. chris cook // March 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm // Reply

    Well written! Dan was a friend, an opponent, a fellow committee member, a USA Teammate and just a great guy to EVERYONE!! I really can’t believe he’s gone. Much love Dan McCauley and family. Kick some ass and mentor many more on the eternal Rugby Court!

  2. Steve McCall // March 13, 2016 at 1:49 am // Reply

    Sorry to hear of a good friends passing.
    I attended high school with Dan, a couple of years ahead of him but played football and involved with track with Dan. Dan always had a very good attitude. I feel sad for Dan’s family and also his friends.
    I remember the night Dan was injured, Dan was a very strong person no matter what he was faced with. Again, I am saddened to hear of his passing. RIP Dan.

  3. I learned of this today from a mutual friend here in Helena. Dan was one of my roommates for two years at Montana State University. He was a super guy, extremely optimistic, and an example to all. I had not seen him for a few years but it was always easy to pick up exactly where we left off. We are lucky to have people in our lives like that. I am very sorry to know of this. Dan made a difference for people every day……

  4. Jim Engel // July 4, 2017 at 5:12 am // Reply

    Gosh, just ran across this news article on my old friend Dan. We shared an office and worked together in San Diego at General Dynamics in the 1980’s and always wondered what happened to him and Lisa. So sorry to hear of his passing but was glad to know him and be friends back in the old days.

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