Late Friday night, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne shared a statement from former Alabama AD Bill Battle.
In the statement, Battle revealed he has been hospitalized with COVID-19. The former Tennessee Volunteers head coach said doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
I appreciate the prayers and well-wishes from so many, and want to let you know that Im stable and resting comfortably, he said. Ive got great doctors and nurses at UAB looking after me and expect to make a full recovery. Time and patience are important in the meantime.
Byrne took over for Battle as the Crimson Tides athletic director after Battle retired. Battle served as Alabamas athletic director from 2013-17.
Continued thoughts and prayers for Coach Battle for a full recovery. pic.twitter.com/bfXyNoDQRI
Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) August 1, 2020
The 78-year-old began battling a form of cancer in 2014 and had stem cell transplants in 2016. Despite battling through the cancer treatments, he remained on the job as Alabamas athletic director.
Battle played his college football at Alabama, where he played under head coach Bear Bryant. He eventually got into coaching and served as an assistant at Army and Tennessee.
Battle took over as the head coach of the Volunteers in 1970 and led the team to an 11-1 record. In seven seasons as the head coach at Tennessee, he racked up a 59-22-2 record. He led the team to five bowl games, going 4-1 in those games.
We hope the former coach and AD has a speedy recovery.
Andrew McCarty is a writer for The Spun.
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Former SEC Head Coach, AD Hospitalized With COVID-19 – The Spun