Former UTEP Coach Billy Gillispie Needs Kidney Transplant
Former UTEP men's basketball head coach Billy Gillispie told the Dallas Morning News over the weekend that he is in need of a kidney transplant. The 58-year old has been back at his alma matter Ranger Community College as their athletic director and men's basketball head coach. The team is off to a 10-2 start this season, but Gillispie has missed the last three games. He told the DMN that he was admitted to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene about three weeks ago and when he went for a follow-up with his nephrologist on Friday, he was told that he needed a kidney transplant after years of dealing with high blood pressure.
"The next thing she said was, 'Do you have a donor?' " Gillispie told the Morning News. "I said, 'Well, I didn't know I needed one.' As you can imagine, I've been doing a lot of reading, asking questions and all of those things you do when you start feeling life-threatening things. I don't even know that I would take one [a kidney]. I know that sounds stupid, but I wouldn't take a donated kidney if it was going to have any kind of adverse on anyone. I just wouldn't. I mean, I've had a great life. I would like to be around for whatever'[years], but I'm not selfish in that regard. I'm selfish in some, but not that regard. There's a lot of people who have had productive lives after a kidney transplant, so it's not like the Grim Reaper is coming. Now, I've got to take immediate action, but there's a lot of people who are walking around out there with one kidney who are living great lives."
Gillispie turned the Miners around from a six win team to a 24-8 team in 2003-04 that went to the NCAA Tournament. After leaving UTEP, he went to Texas A&M and turned that program around, taking them to the Sweet 16 before landing a job at Kentucky. Gillispie lasted only two seasons in Lexington and one season at Texas Tech before returning to Ranger.