Family: Former CU football coach Bill McCartney diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

BOULDER, Colo. — Former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, who guided the Buffaloes to a share of the national championship a quarter century ago, has been diagnosed with late-onset dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, his family said Monday.

In a statement released by the university, the family said it has been noticing memory issues the past few years and that McCartney was recently diagnosed.

“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 became coach in 1982 and retired after the 1994 season as the winningest coach in school history, going 93-55-5. He coached the Buffaloes to a share of the national championship in 1990 and to three Big Eight Conference titles.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013. After retiring, McCartney worked full time for Promise Keepers, a Christian organization he helped to create in 1990.