Legendary coach Bill McCartney is battling Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement released today by his family.
The Colorado Buffaloes first hired McCartney in 1982, giving him a mandate to turn around the fortunes of the school’s football program.
When he retired following the 1994 season, he did so as the winningest football coach in Buffs history — holding a 93-55-5 record.
Sadly, he is now fighting a new battle. Coach McCartney’s family issued the following statement regarding his health on Monday:
"“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.”"
McCartney 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).
McCartney 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.