The world of college football was in utter shock when Urban Meyer suddenly decided to step aside for awhile as Florida Gators head coach.
Urgent health concerns were the reason cited for his unexpected departure.
It has been reported that Meyer suffered chest pains following the loss to Alabama that sent him to the hospital. In addition, Sports Illustrated reported earlier this month that Meyer also suffers from an arachnoid cyst that was discovered on his brain in 1998.
Todd Lickliter might know a little something about what's going through the mind of Meyer right now.
Lickliter, head coach for the Iowa men's basketball team, was recently hospitalized due to a tear in his carotid artery. He underwent a medical procedure to have a stent inserted.
"I was having headaches when we were in Kansas City," Lickliter explained in a radio interview after the procedure. "It turned out to be the beginning of a tear."
Undoubtedly, he ran a similar mental gauntlet about what was best for his family, just like Urban Meyer has been doing the past week.
The internal carotid artery is a major artery in the head and neck that helps supply blood to the brain. Spontaneous tears are sometimes caused by stress, and have been known to cause strokes in middle-aged men. That is a cause for concern in most family men like Lickliter.
The medical circumstances might be different for the two head coaches, but the thought process is the same; what's best for the family and team?
Lickliter, 54, is married with three sons. After consulting with his family and physicians at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Lickliter took a short break from his duties to recover. He missed three games following is procedure.
Meyer's health issues appear to be more serious, though. Some news outlets have gone so far as to report Meyer recently suffering a mild heart attack.
He initially resigned from his position before reconsidering the next day and instead taking a leave of absence. He will step away from his responsibilities as head coach for an undetermined amount of time following Florida's bowl game to focus on his family and his health.
Being a head coach is a stressful job, and comes with pressure from all angles. Adding in health concerns doesn't make stress any easier to deal with.
Apparently, coaching a major college sports program these days isn't as glamorous as it may seem.
Just ask Urban Meyer and Todd Lickliter.
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