Skip to content

Former Notre Dame head coach Digger Phelps now cancer-free

Jul 3, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

Dick Vitale, Richard Phelps AP

Just over two months after announcing that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, former Notre Dame head coach and current ESPN commentator Digger Phelps learned on Monday that he’s now cancer-free.

The good news came on the heels of Phelps’ completion of a six-week treatment program, and it was a great early present for the coach as he’ll celebrate his 72nd birthday Thursday. This marks the second time in three years that Phelps has beaten cancer, as he had to deal with prostate cancer in 2010.

One day after finding out the good news, Phelps made sure to thank Notre Dame president emeritus Rev. Theodore Hesburg, C.S.C. on the South Bend campus.

On Tuesday, Phelps made sure to find on campus the Most Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., university president emeritus who offered his guidance and blessed the coach during Phelps’ cancer-fighting process.

Phelps found Hesburgh celebrating Mass at Holy Cross House. It was Hesburgh’s words to Phelps early in spring — “Have the courage” — that helped Phelps in his fight. He fought, in part, because he had previously beaten cancer.

It’s great to hear that coach Phelps has been given a clean bill of health (he’ll undergo “maintenance” treatments every three months for the next two years), and he’ll once again be on television waving his hi-liter this winter.

College basketball has been used as a platform in the fight to find a cure for cancer, with ventures such as the Jimmy V Foundation and Coaches vs. Cancer being the most prominent.

h/t Eye on College Basketball

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Latest Posts
  1. Kevin Ollie, UConn coaching staff won’t attend Final Four in Indianapolis over state travel ban

    Apr 1, 2015, 9:10 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Kevin Ollie and UConn will stay away from the Final Four in Indianapolis as the state of Connecticut has banned state-funded travel to the state.

  2. San Diego hires New Mexico assistant Lamont Smith as new head coach

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Lamont Smith, right, is San Diego's new head coach (Getty Images) Getty Images

    San Diego turned to a former player to lead the basketball program.

  3. Washington State losing three players to transfer

    Mar 31, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Jackie Davis, Brett Boese, Lucas O'Brien AP

    Head coach Ernie Kent is losing three first-year players after his first season at the helm.

  4. Report: Murray State guard Cameron Payne heavily considering NBA Draft

    Mar 31, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    Cameron Payne, Reece Chamberlain AP

    Could Murray State guard Cameron Payne enter the NBA Draft?

  5. UNLV’s Rashad Vaughn signs an agent and enters NBA Draft

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:40 PM EDT

    (Getty Images) Getty Images

    UNLV officially loses Rashad Vaughn to the NBA Draft.

  6. Rhode Island lands impact transfer from Towson

    Mar 31, 2015, 5:35 PM EDT

    BB&T Classic Getty Images

    Rhode Island landed an impact transfer on Tuesday.

  7. Georgetown’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera heading to NBA Draft

    Mar 31, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Georgetown takes a major hit with the loss of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

  8. Southern Illinois loses five to transfer, coach rips the decisions

    Mar 31, 2015, 3:22 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Barry Hinson is not happy about losing the players he brought into the program.

  9. Highlights of the McDonald’s All-American dunk contest (VIDEO)

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:44 PM EDT

    Dwayne Bacon, Jalen Rose Dwayne Bacon, Jalen Rose

    It wasn’t as good as the last two years, but there were still some impressive dunks.

  10. Kentucky, Wisconsin join short list of Final Four rematches

    Mar 31, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    So we meet again... (AP Photo) AP

    Teams that won the first meeting have won three of the four Final Four/title game rematches, with Duke (1990-91) being the lone exception.

  11. LSU’s Jordan Mickey to enter the NBA Draft

    Mar 31, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Mickey is the second player from LSU to declare this month.

  12. Indiana’s 1976 undefeated team is rooting for Kentucky to go 40-0

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Bobby Knight would probably not approve of that.

  13. Cleveland State to lose Trey Lewis to transfer

    Mar 31, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Lewis will have some well known suitors this offseason.

  14. Rick Barnes will be the next head coach at Tennessee

    Mar 31, 2015, 9:57 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Barnes spent the last 17 seasons at Texas.

  15. UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland, all No. 1 seeds, advance to women’s Final Four

    Mar 30, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Brianna Turner AP

    UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland make up the 2015 women’s Final Four.

  16. Sources: Johnathan Williams III expected to transfer from Missouri

    Mar 30, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Williams was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Tigers this season.