Sam Koch, who has coached the Minutemen for the last 23 seasons, announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer and will soon begin treatment.
In a statement, Koch says, “The cancer is isolated to the sinus area and with a treatment schedule that begins during the pre-season, the plan my doctors have in line for me should have me back fully on the sidelines for the start of the Atlantic 10 season.”
“My plan is to be completely back for that and to have the program ready for postseason play in November,” Koch adds.
In his years at Umass, Koch has amassed 213 wins, making him the winningest coach in the program’s history. He also has led the team to three NCAA tournaments.
Koch notes, “I told my players to focus on the goals we put in place every year which includes winning an Atlantic 10 Championship; they must not dwell on my situation, but continue to do the right things on and off the field as they have done in the past.”
UMass officials say that Koch will continue to serve as head coach, with assistant coach Devin O’Neill handling the daily operations of the program.
“The team, his staff and the athletic department fully support Sam in this battle,” says UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon.