Billy Gillispie’s health struggles have long been public and well-documented.
A self-described workaholic, the former Kentucky and Texas A&M head coach’s intensity and grinding personality made it difficult for Gillispie to maintain the same level of energy over the past several years as he has gotten older, and his health has suffered as a result.
Back in December, it was reported that Gillispie was facing his most serious health crisis yet: he was in desperate need of a kidney transplant, an ailment for which he missed much of the season at Ranger College, a junior college in Texas where he is the head coach.
Fortunately, however, it appears as though Gillispie may have finally gotten the break he needed. According to a report by Brad Townsend of SportsDay, Gillispie is now eligible to receive a kidney from an ‘angel’ donor.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gillispie’s donor has ties to college basketball. According to the report, the donor is Ericka Downey, the wife of Northeastern State University basketball coach Mark Downey. Downey apparently flew to the Mayo Clinic for testing earlier in the week before receiving confirmation of her eligibility to donate. Downey has said that she reached out to Gillispie to share the good news with him.
The past few years have been a roller coaster for Gillespie, who was fired from Kentucky in March 2009, a move which led directly to the current John Calipari era in Lexington.
After leaving the Wildcats, Gillispie was out of coaching for nearly two years, when he signed a contract to be the next head coach at Texas Tech. Gillispie’s time in Lubbock was not successful, however, as resigned following just one season, citing similar health concerns to what he has experienced in the past year or so. Gillispie’s resignation also followed allegations of mistreatment by some former players.
Fortunately, it appears as though there is a positive outcome awaiting Gillispie after what has surely been a trying ordeal. While there is no date yet scheduled for the transplant, Gillispie is expected to be the head coach at Ranger once again in 2018-19.
The post Report: Former Kentucky, Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie to receive kidney from ‘angel’ donor appeared first on SEC Country.