I read the announcement that head coach Andy Coen was stepping down as head football coach late Friday evening.
It was an announcement that I was expecting, to some degree.
Those of use who have been following the program closely knew that something was amiss with Andy.
And yet, the reason for him needing to step down was devastating.
“Life has thrown me a curveball,” Coen said in the press release on Friday, December 7th, 2018. “I am in the early stages [of early onset Alzheimer’s disease] and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being. My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans. This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time.”
It was the gutting, pit-in-the-stomach diagnosis nobody wanted to be true. Just like that, a bigger challenge than simply winning football games faces the man who has been heading the program for the last thirteen years.
As the reality of the diagnosis sunk in over the weekend, the players who played for him and the people he touched poured out their gratitude on Twitter and Facebook. I did too, feeling a jumble of emotions and memories that have been difficult to process.
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