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Texas A&M’s record not toughest part of Kennedy’s season


Mike Miller

This season hasn’t been what Billy Kennedy expected. And not just because of how Texas A&M’s played.

The Aggies’ first-year coach has spent the last few months adjusting to a new job (he came from Murray State) and a new home when he had difficulty sleeping, pain in his shoulder and other odd ailments.

It was Parkinson’s.

But he was unwilling to change. There was recruiting to do, players to instruct and a program to build. And that was the problem.

How Kennedy handled his diagnosis and his transition back into coaching is the focus of a great read by ESPN’s Jason King. An excerpt:

For nearly a month, Kennedy spoke with as many alumni groups as possible and hit the recruiting trails as if nothing had happened.

Inside, however, the coach was a wreck.

Some days, Kennedy wondered if it was in his best interest to keep coaching, but then he’d remember the assistants who had moved their families to College Station because they believed in him and vision. What about those people? And what about his own family? Kennedy has two children in college and another (Anna Cate) who will be there about 10 years from now. Quitting, he said, wouldn’t have been good for anyone.

“If I had a couple million dollars, maybe I could’ve shut it down,” Kennedy said. “But that wouldn’t have been me. The timing was the biggest thing. If this would’ve happened during the spring, I could’ve attacked it head on.

“Instead I needed rest, but there was hardly any time for rest.”

Kennedy eventually took time off from the team and returned for A&M’s second game of the regular season. The season hasn’t been ideal -- Wednesday night was the latest example in a loss to Baylor – but at this point, everything seems like a win for Kennedy. They’re just not official “Ws.”

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.