Toledo's basketball coach receives service award during UT homecoming

Toledo's basketball coach receives service award during UT homecoming

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A coach's passion for the game can also help him follow another passion.

Toledo's head basketball coach Tod Kowalczyk is known throughout the northwest Ohio for his efforts on the court. But over the week, Kowalczyk received recognition for his perhaps more important work away from the court and the spotlight.

For Kowalczyk, his passion beyond public view is organ donation. At Saturday's homecoming game, Coach Kowalczyk received the Donate Life Champion Award for his efforts to get more people to donate their organs.

For Kowalczyk, those efforts are personal.

Trey Schwab was a friend and collage of Kowalczyk, who developed a rare lung disease.

"[Trey] had to have a double lung transplant and those are extremely hard to get," Coach Kowalczyk said. Got it and the life expectancy is probably seven to 10 years and he was fortunate enough to live for 12 years."

Schwab recently passed away in 2016.

Still, Coach Kowalczyk educates his players and the Toledo community about the selfless act of organ donation.

"Leaders of an organization, we try to preach, teach and emphasize on selflessness," Coach Kowalczyk explained. Well in my opinion I don't think there's anything more unselfish or selfless act than being an organ donor and giving someone's a chance, an opportunity to live."

Coach Kowalczk says he, along with his whole family, are organ donors. He stresses it is a conversation you want to have with your family before signing up.

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