SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock is feeling much better after prostate cancer kept him largely out of commission for the first half of preseason camp.
Denbrock, in his first year as Notre Dame's offensive coordinator, learned he had prostate cancer in June. While applying for extra life insurance for himself, his wife and his son, Denbrock took a blood test that showed he had high levels of prostate-specific antigen. After visiting with a specialist and having more tests done, he was diagnosed with the ailment.
Denbrock underwent surgery over the summer and said everything has come back positive since the procedure. Still, he's only recently felt like he's gained his strength back to the point where he can be around the team on a day-to-day basis.
But he's also not at the point where he's 100 percent either.
"I think it’ll be a little while," Denbrock said. "I’m not going to say how much I’ve been involved with what’s been going on because my wife and doctor will probably hunt me down and get after me, but I’ve more than I anticipated I would up until this point. I haven’t tried to stress it or push it. Coach Kelly has been great about it, (as has athletic director) Jack Swarbrick and everybody here about letting me heal and get what I needed."
Denbrock said the outpouring of support he's received from those in and around the program has been extremely helpful in his recovery, as has being back around the team for the last few weeks. He stayed in South Bend while the team opened preseason camp in Culver, Ind., and while he was able to watch film on his iPad and communicate with coaches via FaceTime he said it was "really hard" to be away.
Denbrock, though, feels like his condition is improving with less than two weeks until Notre Dame begins the 2014 season against Rice.
"We're doing good," Denbrock said. "Getting stronger every day."