When you get a tough break in life, you can either bellyache and whine about it or attempt to turn it into something positive. That's what a college football coach from Texas has done.
Dan McCarney, head coach at North Texas, has turned his medical condition into a rallying cry for his floundering football program. McCarney is forced to wear sunglasses all the time, not because it's the latest style, but to protect his damaged eyes.
McCarney, who has spent his entire life as a football coach, never wore shades, and that caused his vision problem, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.
"I have been horrible my whole life about wearing sunglasses," McCarney told the paper. "I would go to the beach and to practice and was supposed to wear them and never did."
NBC 5 Dallas reports McCarney is dealing with blindness in his right eye. "There is a hole in the cornea, but there's been complete detachments in my eye. I went through a number of surgeries to save the eye, save the sight, save the vision. None of those worked," McCarney told NBC.
Fans of the Mean Green have fallen in love with the coach's necessary accessory. Students have been wearing sunglasses around campus to show support.
Saturday, the school is giving out 3,000 pairs of sunglasses to students for the matchup with Western Kentucky in a bid to increase poor attendance. McCarney fully supports the promotion, despite the irony of his lack of shades earlier in life leading to his medical situation.
"I love it. I appreciate it, and if it means giving us a better chance to win a game because more students come to games, then fantastic," he said.
Doctors have given up on trying to fix the vision in his damaged eye. Instead, they're working to keep it intact so the North Texas coach won't have to have it removed in favor of a glass eye. But McCarney isn't letting it ruin his life.
"I am still living a pretty good life the way I am," McCarney told the Record-Chronicle.
Before moving to the Republic of Texas, McCarney spent 12 seasons at Iowa State. He led the Cyclones to five bowl games and was the longest tenured head coach in the Big 12 before being let go after a 4-8 season in 2006. After stops at South Florida and Florida, McCarney is attempting to toss some magic dust on a dormant Sun Belt program.
North Texas is 4-6 this season with two home games left. The Mean Green are ranked 101st in total offense and 102nd in total defense, but it's not all bad: North Texas is ranked 9th in turnover margin, ahead of Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma among national powers.
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