Skip to main content

Mike Denbrock back with Notre Dame after prostate cancer surgery

MikeDenbrock

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock has returned to the field after surgery in late July to battle prostate cancer, which was discovered over the summer. 

Denbrock had to miss the team's five-day mini-camp in nearby Culver, Ind., though he did keep tabs on things over the phone and through watching practice tape on his iPad. 

“I’m not going to say how much I’ve been involved in what’s been going on (with the team), because my wife and my doctor will probably hunt me down and get after me,” Denbrock told the South Bend Tribune. “But I’ve been able to do more than I anticipated I would to this point.”

Denbrock, 50, was promoted to offensive coordinator in January - head coach Brian Kelly will call plays - and has had to pick his spots as he works with returning quarterback Everett Golson to install the Irish's new hurry-up attack. 

“I have to pick my spots,” he said. “It’s just that some things get a little frustrating, and it’s hard to keep it under control. I’ve got to be careful obviously about being too aggressive too fast.”

Though Denbrock's case is the most high-profile, he is not the only Notre Dame assistant currently battling cancer. Graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy is currently fighting his own battle with the disease, alternating between coaching the Irish safeties and undergoing chemotherapy. 

“He's an incredible young man,” Kelly said. “Some people obviously don't take very well to those treatments. He was on the field coaching the safeties like it was his first day of practice. He'll have a week off, and then he'll go back into another round of treatments the following week. But he expects to be here through his treatments. We've made accommodations for him if he needs to be off the field. The NCAA has made an accommodation for us, as well, in that we can hire another graduate assistant if we are forced to pull him off the field. So if we have to do that, we can act on it. But we're going to hold off right now.”

Our best wishes go out to both coaches in their recovery.

Read more here.