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Long-time Carson-Newman football coach Ken Sparks is easing back into work after surgery for cancer

7:35 PM, Jul 17, 2012   |    comments
Ken Sparks
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Long-time Carson-Newman football coach Ken Sparks is easing back into work after surgery for cancer.

Sparks had a routine physical this summer and prostate cancer was detected.  Less than a week later, he had surgery.

The 68 year old Sparks is still awaiting his treatment protocol, but is moving ahead with plans for another football season with the Eagles.

Here is more on Sparks from Carson-Newman College:

Carson-Newman College's Ken Sparks is recovering following a diagnosis of and surgery for prostate cancer.  He has divided the last three weeks since surgery between rest, periodic stints at his office and consulting physicians. 

"Everything happened so fast, from a routine physical to major surgery in less than a week," he said. "There were all sorts of scans and tests and then the operation, but I had a great team of doctors, even a couple of my former players came through for me."

While he is grateful for the care he's received, the 68-year-old said he is still learning lessons about receiving such attention. "Well, I haven't been a good patient, and I've discovered that you are not as strong as you think you are.  But, the great thing is that the Lord doesn't have any limits."

Sparks says his confidence in the Almighty's will and power transcends the uncertainty of the future. "God has been everything He's promised He would be throughout this chapter of life.  I have full peace with the next phase."

The coach informed his staff shortly after the initial diagnosis and told his players yesterday.  He has a positive attitude as he moves ahead with plans for the season and the August 30 contest with Glenville State. He will meet with his medical team in the coming days, after they have examined recent blood work and lab tests.  He says those results and his doctors' recommendations will determine a treatment protocol.

In the meantime, the football coach is a football coach.  "We started staffing positions the week after I found out.  Our job is to get these men ready and to go forward.  And we trust in the Lord and let Him do what only He can do."

Athletics Director Allen Morgan affirmed Sparks' assurance, saying, "Ken has the full support of Carson-Newman College, from alumni and former athletes to everyone here.  We are looking forward to a complete recovery and are confident that he will continue the fruitful and everlasting impact he has had on the lives of young men. We are praying for him and Carol, and we ask that all members of the C-N family do likewise."

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