Former Baylor and Kentucky head coach Guy Morriss took on countless battles for years both on the field as a player and on the sidelines as a coach, but on Monday, the 66-year-old revealed he is battling a new and much more serious foe.
During an interview Monday, Morriss announced he has been battling Alzheimers for the last nine months, according to WKYT out of Lexington, Ky. The diagnosis was brought to light when Morriss visited the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and underwent a series of tests that later revealed early stages of the disease.
"I wouldn't accept it," Morriss said when initially confronted with the diagnosis. "This can't be happening to me."
Morriss tried to continue working with high school football teams, but the symptoms became too severe.
"At first I couldn't write my name. I could not write my name. I didn't know my ABCs. I couldn't do that little rhyme."
The owner of a 27-54 overall record spanning seven seasons in Division-I football is taking things in stride, as Dr. Greg Jica says Morriss is not letting up on his sense of determination.
"Guy takes it home with him. So if he doesn't perform up to his standards on one particular task, he will go home and practice as though he was in a game," Dr. Jica said. "He can see that there's difficulty, and he works at it. He practices. And that's incredibly good for his brain."
Despite the negative outlook, Morriss remains focused on the tasks at hand and understands what he is up against.
"You stay with it. You learn the pattern again. That's a win for me," Morris said. "Dressing myself is a win for me. Tying my shoes is a win for me."
With h/t to College Spun