“He’s still coach Mac,” says one of his sons
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
BOULDER, CO (ANS – August 30, 2016) — Bill McCartney, the legendary University of Colorado football coach who led the Buffaloes to the co-national championship in 1990, and also the founder of Promise Keepers, has been diagnosed with late onset dementia/Alzheimer’s, his family has announced.
McCartney, who on August 22, celebrated his age 76th birthday, has been dealing with symptoms of short-term memory loss for the past two years, they said.
“I will tell you my dad’s in great physical shape,” Mike McCartney, one of the four children born and raised by Bill and Lyndi McCartney, told Colorado’s 9NEWS (http://www.9news.com/).
“He’s got his long-term memory completely intact. What we’re dealing with is his short-term memory. He’s still coach Mac. He’s vibrant. He rides his bike three or four times a day. He golfs, he’s active with his friends. Very active with his church. Every Sunday morning, he still leads a five-minute devotional for his church. And from what I hear does a great job.
“He’s just really struggling with short-term memory and we as a family are asking for prayer… we believe there are hundreds of thousands — if not millions — who will pray for him.”
The family of legendary coach Bill McCartney have issued a moving statement regarding the health of the College Football Hall of Fame and national championship coach.
It says, “We would like to share the news that our father, Coach Bill McCartney has been diagnosed with late-onset Dementia/Alzheimer’s. We (his family) have been noticing memory issues for the past few years and he was recently diagnosed. He is receiving treatment and we are hoping this slows the progression of the disease. He is still the same Coach Mac – biking, golfing, supporting the Buffs and being an active member of his Church.
“We are making this public to ask for your understanding and patience as we know he frequently runs into fans, friends and former players. This is a frustrating and confusing disease, and if he appears disconnected or unknowing, please don’t take it personally.”
McCartney was Colorado’s coach from 1982 to 1994, compiling a 93-55-5 overall record even though he went just 7-25-1 over his first three seasons. The Buffaloes went 11-1-1 in 1990 and earned the No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press poll after defeating Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. They shared the national title with Georgia Tech, which earned the top spot in the coaches’ poll after an 11-0-1 campaign, beating out Colorado by one vote.
Retiring after an 11-1 record and a No. 3 national ranking in 1994, McCartney spent the majority of his time devoted to the Promise Keepers, the Christian men’s group he started in 1990 while still the Buffaloes’ coach.
According to the Promise Keepers’ website (https://promisekeepers.org/), “From its founding in 1990 to 2009, Promise Keepers’ mission has been to ignite and unite men to become warriors who will change their world through living out the Seven Promises. From 2009 – 2011 PK broadened its mission to include a place for women, and young adults at its events. For 2012 and onward, Promise Keepers will re-focus its conferences for men.
“We have found that men tend to be more open to God’s presence when they are with other men. There is something unique about the all-male environment that sets men free to drop the normal posturing and humble ourselves in Jesus Christ, committing to new beginnings.
“Promise Keepers had directly reached more than 6 million men through men’s conferences – including an assembly of 1.4 million men on the United States national mall in Washington D.C., on October 4, 1997 – and the number continues to grow each year. Through over 200 stadium, arena and church events Promise Keepers encourages men to be transformed and live godly lives.”
Last year, McCartney was the subject of an ESPN “30 for 30’s” documentary called “The Gospel According to Mac” that detailed his extraordinary life and deep-felt beliefs.
Photo captions: 1) Coach McCartney relaxes at home (Photo: RJ Sangosti/Denver Post/Getty Images) 2) Bill McCartney makes a point at a Promise Keepers event. (Karl Gehring/Denver Post/Getty Images). 3) Worship at Promise Keepers. 4) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria, West Africa, of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. He now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for some 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of some 45 books. He also has one weekly radio show (Front Page Radio) and two TV shows (Windows on the World – with Mark Ellis, and Inside Hollywood with Dan Wooding) all based in Southern California. You can write to Dan Wooding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to ANS by going to the above website and signing up there.