Dan McCarney

Update: McCarney confirms stroke, leaning on vodka elixer

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UPDATED 2/14/2012 @ 3:27 p.m. ET: North Texas head coach Dan McCarney confirmed to the Des Moines Register that he had indeed suffered a stroke over the weekend.  McCarney told the paper that, after his daily workout Sunday morning, he “was just sitting down to eat a sandwich when my left side went numb.”

He remains hospitalized, but doctors told him he’s fine and that “[t]hey’re expecting a full recovery – no permanent damage.”  The health issue should not prevent McCarney from coaching his team in spring practice.

As for the steps he will take to get beyond the medical setback and ensure his presence at the sessions?

“Nothing wrong with me that a little Grey Goose won’t cure,” the 58-year-old coach said, quickly becoming the leader in the clubhouse for inspirational quote of the year in college football.

In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, UNT confirmed that McCarney has been moved out of ICU and will continue to undergo medical treatment.  A statement from McCarney was also included in the release:

First, thanks to all the wonderful people who sent well-wishes during my time of illness.  I am reminded of how truly blessed I am by the number of family, friends and colleagues that have reached out to show support to Margy and myself with words of support and encouragement. 

After suffering numbness on the left side of my body Sunday, we called 911 and were subsequently rushed to the hospital.  I have been told by the doctors that the early recognition of the symptoms and the quick response of the paramedics indeed helped minimize the impact of the stroke.  Thanks to the care of the wonderful medical staff that I have been under, I am confident that there will be no long-lasting effects and I will be able to return my normal routine in time.

While I have a great passion for coaching and approach my job with a tireless effort, I’m sure that my doctors will ask that I come back at a slower pace.  I fully intend on leading the North Texas football program through spring drills and can’t wait to be back around my staff and players. 

If there is any lesson to be learned in all of this it is to make yourself aware of the signs of a stroke and act immediately when those signs become present.  I’m not sure if our quick reaction saved my life, but it definitely save the quality of my life. 

Thanks again for all the thoughts, prayers and signs of support.

______________________________

There’s some potentially unfortunate news coming out of Denton, Texas, today involving North Texas head coach Dan McCarney. 

According to the Twitter account of Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly, McCarney suffered a stroke. A spokesperson close to McCarney confirmed to CFT that the coach was admitted to a hospital yesterday and underwent “a battery of tests”, but could not provide any more details.

UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal offered the following statement:

“Yesterday afternoon after returning from Miami I spoke with Margy McCarney who said that her husband, Dan, had experienced some medical difficulties significant enough that he was taken to the hospital.  The details that we know at this time are that he was admitted and is currently undergoing a battery of tests and will continue to be under observation.

“The exact cause and nature of the symptoms of his illness are not immediately known by us at this time.  The family has asked until a complete diagnosis and a course of treatment is established that their privacy be respected.  We can’t comment any further at this time and will release information as it becomes available and approved by the family.”

McCarney led North Texas to a 5-7 season in his first year with the Mean Green after spending three years as the defensive line coach at Florida. McCarney also spent 12 years as the head coach at Iowa State.

Obviously, our thoughts are with McCarney and his family, and hopefully, we’ll be able to update this story with some more positive news soon.

Checking in on the nation’s longest winning & losing streaks

Alabama's head coach Saban instructs his players as they take on the LSU Tigers during their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge
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Unbelievably, at the end of today, we’ll be more than one-third of the way through the 2016 regular season as the calendar flips from September to October. And, not surprisingly, some teams are faring better than others — and some, suffice to say, are not.

In “water’s wet, sky’s blue” news, defending national champions and undefeated top-ranked Alabama holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 16 in a row. ‘Bama’s last loss came Sept. 19 a year ago against Ole Miss. In fact, the Tide hasn’t really come close to seeing that streak end since as just two of their last 16 games have been decided by 10-plus points, with the lone exceptions being a 19-14 win over Tennessee in October of last year and 43-37 over Ole Miss just two weeks ago.

What might surprise you, though, is the second-longest streak behind ‘Bama. The holder of that honor? San Diego State, which has peeled off 13 wins in a row entering Week 5. Tennessee is the only other team in double digits, with 10 wins in a row dating back to last season.  The Vols’ last loss?  To the Tide, of course, a defeat that UT will get to avenge two weeks from today in the friendly confines of Neyland Stadium.

A total of nine teams will also take the field Saturday with a winning streak of at least five in a row:

7 — Houston, Washington
6 — Louisville, Utah, Western Michigan, Wisconsin
5 — Boise State, Navy, Ohio State

Clemson could join some combination of the above at that five-game winning-streak plateau Saturday, but to get there they’ll have to beat… Louisville.

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, the “proud” owner of the nation’s longest losing streak entering the 2016 season was Kansas* at 15 straight, followed by UCF (13), Charlotte (10), Eastern Michigan (10), Oregon State (nine) and Boston College (eight).

All six of those teams have seen those losing streaks come to a merciful end, with EMU actually off to a 3-1 start to the year. The team that was just behind BC, Wake Forest, carried a six-game losing streak into 2016 before surprisingly (stunningly?) winning their first four games of the season.

So, with all of that winning from last year’s biggest losers, who’s the current “top” loser? That title now belongs to the Northern Illinois Huskies, the winners of the last six MAC West championships — and three of the last six conference titles — who have started this season with four straight losses to stretch their ignominious streak to a nation’s best/worst seven in a row. Just three other teams have a streak that began during the 2015 season: Florida International, which has lost six in a row and already fired their head coach; Arkansas State, which lost its first four of this season to push its streak to five in a row; and Georgia State, 0-3 on the season to add to a loss in the 2015 Cure Bowl for a four-game losing streak.

Two additional teams are winless on the season after winning their last game of 2015: Miami of Ohio and Rice, which are each 0-4 in 2016.

(*While Kansas’ overall losing streak came to an end, they’ve still lost 17 in a row against FBS opponents, with the last one of those coming in early November of 2015 against Iowa State.)

Miami to wear helmet stickers honoring late Marlins P Jose Fernandez

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Scenes from the funeral for Jose Fernandez at St. Brendanâs Catholic Church on September 29, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy-Pool/Getty Images)
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The tragic death of Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez has touched those in and around the South Beach community, including the flagship college football program in the area.

Fernandez, along with two friends, was killed in a boating accident off of South Beach last Sunday.  For Saturday’s ACC opener against Georgia Tech, The U will wear helmet stickers with Fernandez’s No. 16 on the back to honor the late All-Star pitcher.

The football program unveiled the sticker as displayed on the helmet of starting quarterback Brad Kaaya.

LOOK: TCU to wear debut new chrome helmets for game vs. Oklahoma

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As someone loathe to post on the myriad uniform combinations that college football teams toss out there on an almost weekly basis, I have to admit that these are… not bad. At all.

Quite fresh looking, actually.

Ahead of their black-out game against Oklahoma Saturday, TCU unveiled a new chrome helmet that the Horned Frogs will wear against the Sooners.  The helmets feature purple facemasks and a rather large purple horned frog on each side of it.

While all of that stuff, the helmets and uniforms and cleats and gloves and the like, are mainly for the benefit of recruits and current players, I and my particular demographic would have to give it a hearty thumbs up.  Which I’m certain means the world to the football program.

Longtime starting WKU safety likely out for remainder of 2016

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 10:  Calvin Ridley #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes away from Marcus Ward #8 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Like they have the last couple of weeks, Western Kentucky will have to get used to Marcus Ward not patrolling its defensive secondary on game days.

Ward (pictured, left) injured his knee in Week 2 and has not returned to the playing field.  Unfortunately for the player and the football program, that absence will continue as the safety underwent surgery on the knee, which is expected to sideline him for the remainder of the 2016 season.

This may not be the last of the fourth-year senior in a Hilltopper uniform, though, as Ward has yet to use his redshirt season and would have a medical waiver at his disposal even if he had.  It’s unclear, however, if Ward will return for another season or rather make himself available for the 2017 NFL draft.

Ward has started a total of 31 games since his true freshman season in 2013, including 26 the previous two seasons.  He was named preseason second-team All-Conference USA prior to the start of the 2016 season.

Perhaps more importantly, he was named a semifinalist earlier this month as a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman.