TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
February 1, 2010
Ruff on recovery
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BRAIN BAILEY SHOW
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At first glance, he’s the
same old Coach Ruff — he’s the same old Coach Ruff minus several pounds
and feeling much better already.
Medical procedures are
very personal and in my interview this week with Coach Ruffin McNeill I
only had him answer what he was comfortable answering.
“I’m comfortable about it
all,” said McNeill, sitting in his office. “I have nothing to be ashamed
of. I wanted to do it for my health, for my family and to be able to do
my job at a high level. The surgery went great. Dr. William Chapman is
one of the top surgeons in the country. That’s the first part of the
The bariatric surgery is
the first step. The first part of the weight loss will come next. Then,
it’s hip replacement surgery just after the end of the spring football
Many have wondered how a
former athlete like Ruffin McNeill could end up needing the type of
medical help that he is getting. McNeill says once the hip started to
deteriorate the weight started coming on.
“I’ve always been a
workout guy,” he said. “I worked out at a very high rate, six days a
week. But when the hip went down on me, the hip started deteriorating, I
couldn’t work out like I wanted to and like I needed to.
I enjoyed (working out).
My goal is to get back to do that at a full pace. There is time off
right now for me to recover from this first surgery. But I’ll be working
The national signing day
is set for this Wednesday. McNeill is excited about his class, and
credits the work of his staff for helping him to get through this busy
time of the year.
“It will be a big day,”
said McNeill with a big smile on his face. “I’m very excited. Everybody
(staff and coaches) has done a great job of doubling up. The parents of
our recruits understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”
McNeill says teams win
championships with offensive and defensive lineman. Those lineman were a
priority in this recruiting class.
“We knew there were some
areas on defense that we needed to shore up, our front seven in
particular," he said. "On offense we have hit every skill position.
There is a quarterback in place as well as receivers and running backs.
"On defense the linebacker
position is one we wanted to take to another level talent-wise. We have
hit all spots and so we are excited about signing day.”
Coach McNeill knows he has
a team of good people in his corner. From doctors and nurses, to his
coaching staff and his secretaries, everyone wants to see him succeed in
this venture of a healthy lifestyle.
His wife, Erlene, is the
captain of the squad. She recently had knee surgery, so team McNeill is
now in recovery.
Coach McNeill says he’s
gotten hundreds of cards and emails, and he thanks everyone for all of
“When I was growing up we
always had to go to Duke for certain things,” he explained. “Nothing
against Duke, it’s a great facility. But coming back to Greenville has
been a blessing. Everything that’s been done has been done right here.
The hospital staffs have been fantastic. The nurses have been great. The
team of doctors is at the top of their professions.
"It’s a blessing to be
here and have things go as smoothly as they’ve gone.”
He’ll soon be a lean,
mean, coaching machine.
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02/01/2011 03:14 AM