William “Coach” McNeely is native of Charlotte, NC. He’s an entrepreneur, non-profit executive and a former Apple Market Development Executive and Educator. After a successful career, he left Corporate America to teach technology solutions to middle school students. (Yikes!) He’s a speaker and author at Evan Eli Media, LLC Last year, he received a double lung transplant. He lives his life in commitment to helping people reach their full potential through leadership, vision and creativity so that they can do greater things they never imagined possible.
Coach’s latest project is the Do Greater Mobile Creative Tech Lab. Imagine a converted bus/van, equipped with iPads, TVs and wireless internet access with Apple educational curriculum, pulls up to a school or event and provides youth with access to quality instruction on coding, design, video, photography, augmented reality and the Do Greater character principles — Self-Improvement — Development — Empowerment — Service.
And, now … we have 5 ridiculous questions for Coach:
The Do Greater Mobile Lab needs a vanity plate. Whatcha got?
It’s got to be CRTVLAB1. The Lab is all about igniting creativity in youth and I love the abbreviation for creative. And there will definitely be more than one, so this current one is identified as No. 1!
You were a football coach. Charlotte needs you to establish & coach EITHER a Quidditch Team or a Sepak Takraw (“kick volleyball“). Which do you pick?
I’m not a big Harry Potter fan and I was a defensive backs coach, so I would have to go with kick volleyball. The “foot and eye” coordination is amazing and those guys are pretty flexible which is a great defensive back trait.
What’s the best “greasy spoon” in Charlotte?
That’s a no brainer. I’ve been going to Price’s Chicken Coup for most of my life. Anything on the menu is great, but I just get a three-wing sandwich and an iced tea or a drink out of the soda machine.
Everybody loves to dress up the Hugh McMannaway statue on Queens Road. What statue in Charlotte should be next in line for dress up?
I live in Southwest Charlotte and love the Giant Metal Head – Metalmorphosis located in Whitehall. I think we ought to put glasses and a hat on him according to the occasion – sunglasses and a Panthers hat in the summer, studious horn-rimmed glasses and a Charlotte 49ers hat during graduation season and a big Coca Cola trucker hat during the Coca-Cola 600. It also spits out water. Very cool.
What’s your favorite expression your mom or dad used to use?
My Mom used to tell me she was “going to knock me into next week” if I didn’t start acting right. I had a lot of creative energy and needed an outlet. That’s why I started playing sports, played in the band at school and started becoming interested in science and business.
Okay, we’re cheating … “Coach” gave us two more awesome answers … and we MUST share them.
Other than the street you live on, give us a street (or block) you love in Charlotte? What’s on it?
I love communities like Revolution Park and Clanton Park along Barringer Drive. There are many beautiful communities in Charlotte, but I grew up in these two which have churches, parks, even a golf course named after Dr. Charles A. Sifford (First African American golfer on the PGA Tour). You will not find these type of communities on the best of Charlotte lists, but the streets speak to how they nurtured young boys to become men and how families provided everything that was needed for our community to thrive. I can point to doctors, lawyers, business owners, architects, teachers and plumbers, electricians and many others who come from this community.
You named “Do Greater” after a passage from The Bible. Was there another name you considered?
No. Doing the time I named the Foundation, I was going through a health crisis and was literally dying. I felt as though I had done some great things in my life, but I wasn’t finished. It wasn’t my time to go and this sentence popped in my mind – “Commit to doing something greater that will keep giving when you are no longer able to give.” The passage from the Bible said, that “we would do even greater things” to impact the lives of others. So, after I survived a double lung transplant – I refocused my life to support and impact the lives of others.
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