Former Kentucky coach Guy Morriss wasn’t feeling himself last year. And there was a good reason.
The 15-year NFL veteran and former SEC head coach has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, according to a report from WKYT.com.
Morris, now 66, coached the Wildcats to a 9-14 record during two seasons with the Wildcats in 2001-02 before moving on to Baylor (2003-07). The Lexington resident has since returned to Kentucky and was considered a “friendly and approachable guy.” Until recently.
Morriss received his sobering diagnosis nine months ago, and it has been a daily struggle since. Some awfully sad details from the report:
“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.”
Eventually, he couldn’t dress himself or tie his own shoes.
“You wake up one day… everything connects. Next time, you get out of bed…. It’s just a day at a time.”
Morriss is receiving state-of-the-art care, but some are left wondering if this type of injury could have been prevented. Dr. Greg Jicha, who is caring for Morriss and is quoted in the report, says that his football career is likely the cause for the debilitating disease.
Dr. Jicha says the condition is very likely brought on by more than 20 years as an offensive lineman, 15 in the NFL.
“We know that many NFL players and folks who have engaged in careers where repetitive head injury, even mild head injury, can leave them predisposed to a variety of conditions,” Dr. Jicha explained.
SEC Country wishes Coach Morriss all the best in his battle with this disease.