Sept. 1, 2005
Worcester, Mass. - Holy Cross head women's basketball coach Bill Gibbons announced this week that following a recent biopsy, a mass on his neck revealed what doctors called a "suspicious papillary thyroid carcinoma" - possibly a form of thyroid cancer. Gibbons will undergo a thyroidectomy in the next few weeks to have the mass removed. "We won't know the course of treatment until after the surgery," Gibbons said.
The 46-year-old Gibbons stated that he "will be sidelined for a while," but is hoping to be back for the start of practices, beginning on October 14. The Crusaders open the season at Northeastern on November 18.
Papillary carcinoma is one of four main types of thyroid cancer and if detected early, most can be treated successfully. "I'm thankful for the prayers and tremendous support of my family and friends who are with me all the way," said Gibbons.
The Crusader coaching staff was notified of Gibbons' situation on Monday, and a team meeting was called on Tuesday morning.
Gibbons, who is in his 21st season as the Crusaders' head coach, led the team to the program's 11th NCAA Tournament, 11th Patriot League regular season title and its 10th Patriot League Tournament title last season. He also has 16 twenty-win seasons under his belt and is the winningest basketball coach in Holy Cross history with 413 wins.