Michael Frogley is a legend in wheelchair basketball and a true inspiration to all. He has made an everlasting impact on the sport — by playing it, coaching it and mentoring it. Twenty-plus years of experience have affirmed that Frogley is a top player and one of the best coaches in the game.
Coach Frogley describes himself as: "disciplined, respectful, responsible, curious, passionate, and stubborn," and his life ventures have seemingly verified his self-description.
Born in Ottawa, Ontario his passion for basketball began early — he started by spending countless hours shooting hoops with friends. At the age of 10, Frogley already understood the sport to its entirety.
Frogley became paralyzed from the waist down from a car accident in 1986. However, this did not stop him — he refused to accept any setbacks that may end his passion for the sport and his drive grew stronger.
“What I learned after my accident was to do things differently,” Frogley says, “ I could still do all the things I wanted to do, just differently, so I did basketball differently.”
Eventually, Frogley was introduced to wheelchair basketball at a rehabilitation center in Ottawa. Immediately, he began playing with the Ottawa Royals competitive program as he grew pretty fond of his new sport.
In 1989, the Canadian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team welcomed Frogley. He competed at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona where Canada placed fourth.
Michael Frogley coaches Team Canada to Gold!
Paralympic Gold Medals in 2000 & 2004!
Frogley retired from playing, but this did not stop him from participating in the sport. He returned to the court with a new perspective and became one of the best coaches in the world of wheelchair basketball.
He was placed as head coach of the Men's National Team from 1996-2004, where he led Team Canada to its first Paralympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004 and a Paralympic silver medal in 2008.
He has coached in Canada and the United States.
Frogley's coaching style is rather inspiring. He inspires his players to find their path to success and believes there is always more than one way to achieve a goal. He says his most significant accomplishment is seeing his players succeed in life. Frogley implies that he appreciates his players and provides empathy throughout his coaching.
“I would never ask my players what I won’t do myself,” he says.
In addition to being a successful coach, Frogley is also a motivational speaker. He draws from his experiences to help inspire others not to give up. He has spoken at various events over the years and has received recognition for his achievements. Achievements like being named Director of the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Academy.
"You think there might be just one way to do something, but there is always more," he says. "I find a path that takes me to my goal, then pursue it."
Through his unwavering spirit, hard work, and determination, Frogley has proven that anything is possible with the right mindset and drive. And this is the mindset his players receive when playing for Coach Mike.
This weekend the Ontario Junior Provincial team, The Abilities Centre Eagles, are playing in the Durham 2023 Ontario Parasport Games. This is the first time that this Junior team is playing in these games.
And after meeting with Mike Frogley, you just know that these Eagles are going to soar!