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Colorado Athletics | August 1, 2016

Bill McCartney diagnosed with late-onset Dementia/Alzheimer's

  McCartney retired in 1994 as the winningest football coach in the school's history with a 93-55-5 record.

BOULDER — The family of legendary coach Bill McCartney issued the following statement Monday concerning the health of the College Football Hall of Fame and national championship coach: 

"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.

"Please keep Coach Mac in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate through this difficult time."  
— The McCartney Family

McCartney was hired on June 9, 1982 to turn around the fortunes of the Colorado football program, and when he retired following the 1994 season, he would do so as the winningest football coach in the school's history with a 93-55-5 record.  He coached the Buffaloes to the 1990 consensus national championship as well as to three Big Eight Conference titles.  

CU reappeared in the national polls in 1988 after a 10-year hiatus and was ranked in the final 101 polls of his coaching career (55 weeks in the top 10).  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in its 2013 class, the first coach associated with the University of Colorado to be enshrined and the seventh person overall associated with the school.

Following his retirement from coaching, he went to work full-time for Promise Keepers, a Christian organization he helped to create in 1990, to help better enrich men's lives.  He continues to speak into PK through regular early morning calls to its president, Dr. Raleigh Washington, and Mac's goal and legacy is challenging every Promise Keeper to commit to reading the Bible daily and to be led by the Spirit.

McCartney's eldest son, Mike, is serving as the spokesman for the family, while comments and questions can be submitted to Dr. Washington of Promise Keepers at CU athletic director Rick George is the spokesman representing the University of Colorado.

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