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 .