SAN ANTONIO – The Coyote is perhaps one of the most universally loved figures in San Antonio, and come Wednesday, when the Spurs open up the regular season at home, he’ll be front and center showing his spirit. The man behind the suit for 16 years spoke to KSAT 12’s Steve Spriester about why he walked away from his position and how sports still play a big part of his life.
“I still remember to this day, standing right here, doing a back tuck, and looking out the window and seeing downtown,” Rob Wicall said.
The sidelines and center court are where Wicall made his living for 16 years as the Spurs Coyote. As he strolled through the Alamodome with Spriester, he was taken down memory lane.
Wicall, as the Coyote, won Best Mascot of the Year in 2005, and in 2014, he was voted Best NBA Mascot.
He was a kid from New Braunfels who went to the University of Texas at San Antonio, Sea World Water Ski Shows and did stints as the mascot for the Washington Capitals and Wizards, which led him to a job he still calls the greatest he will ever have.
In 2016, Wicall hung up his costume and started consulting for teams such as the Texas Longhorns and the LA Clippers. He’s also helping out with the NCAA Final Four and even held a TED Talk called “Life According to Fur.”
“I don’t think I will ever leave that. I don’t think it will ever leave me,” Wicall said. “I have a kindred spirit with that time in my life, to that character, and I think what I did with that character will always be part of that character’s existence. It will never go away. But, conversely, the Spurs will never go away from my heart.”
Wicall estimates that he interacted with a million people a year as the Coyote, from politicians to millionaires to sick children.
“Making moments for people, you don't have to have a costume,” he said. “It's just taking the time and seizing the opportunity to do something for somebody, and make a moment for them. You never know how big that will be. You never know the impact you can have."