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Hornets coach Steve Clifford to take leave of absence to address health

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hornets coach Steve Clifford will be away from the team for an undetermined period of time to deal with a “health issue.”

The team made the announcement Wednesday in a release.

The 56-year-old Clifford missed Monday night’s game against Orlando because he was not feeling well. Associate head coach Stephen Silas filled in for Clifford against the Magic.

Clifford has battled heart problems in the past, but a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press the issue was not heart-related. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not released details of Clifford’s health issue.

The team said there is no timetable for Clifford’s return and that officials would have no further comment.

Silas will continue to coach the team with Clifford out. The Hornets fell to Golden State 101-87 on Wednesday night.

“I just want to send him my best wishes,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Obviously I have been through some issues, and I don’t know what his health issues are, but it’s no fun. I’m wishing him well and I hope he gets back on the sideline soon. But more importantly I hope that he’s healthy.”

If the players know what is wrong with Clifford, they aren’t saying.

“I feel like Cliff is one of those guys, no matter what is going on his life, he’s always going to be here,” Hornets forward Marvin Williams said. “So for him to not be here now is a little bit concerning. I have texted back and forth with him a couple of times and he’s texted back every time. He seems in good spirits. Whatever is going on with him, I’m sure he’s fine. If he has to step away to make sure he’s OK, that’s what is most important.”

Williams said the team has confidence in Silas.

“We will continue to follow his lead,” Williams said.

Clifford underwent a procedure in 2013 — his first year as Charlotte’s head coach — to have two stents placed in his heart, but he returned to coaching just three days later. The procedure came after Clifford began experiencing chest pain while eating at a Charlotte restaurant and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Clifford has since changed his diet and has been eating healthier.

The Hornets were playing well at home under Clifford, but they are just 9-13 overall heading into Wednesday night’s game. They have struggled on the road, where they are 1-10 this season despite the play of All-Star Kemba Walker. The point guard is turning in another impressive season, averaging 22.7 points and 6.3 assists per game.

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with ‘health …

STEVE REED | Associated Press

Dec 6, 2017 10:07 AM ET

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with ‘health …

STEVE REED | Associated Press

Dec 6, 2017 10:07 AM ET

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford out indefinitely with ‘health issue’

STEVE REED | Associated Press

Dec 6, 2017 10:07 AM ET

Hornets coach Steve Clifford away for ‘immediate future’ to address health issues

A few hours before the Charlotte Hornets took on the Orlando Magic Monday night, it was announced that Steve Clifford would not be coaching due to an illness. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that whatever Charlotte’s coach is dealing with is not a short-term problem. The Hornets announced on Wednesday morning that Clifford will be stepping away from the team for the “immediate future” to deal with a health issue. They did not give a timetable for his return. Via NBA.com/Hornets:

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that Head Coach Steve Clifford will be away from the team for the immediate future to address his health. Currently, there is no timetable for his return. Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas will serve as acting head coach. Out of respect for Clifford’s privacy, the Hornets will have no further comment at this time.

Stephen Silas, who served as head coach against Orlando, will remain in charge during Clifford’s absence. Silas has been in the league as a scout or assistant coach since 1999, and has served as an assistant with the Hornets since 2010. 

Hopefully whatever Clifford is dealing with isn’t a serious issue and he’s able to rejoin the Hornets soon. 

Why You Need A Health Coach Now More Than Ever

Our current medical paradigm is failing in the treatment of chronic disease. Despite massive spending on screening, medical research, and pharmaceutical development, rates of chronic diseases have continued to climb. One in two Americans now has a chronic disease, and one in four has multiple chronic diseases. If you’re one of these Americans struggling with a chronic illness, you may have noticed that the conventional way of treating these diseases is based on suppressing symptoms with drugs and managing the disease after it has already occurred rather than preventing and reversing disease by addressing its underlying causes. To use an analogy, imagine you get a rock stuck in your shoe, and it makes your foot hurt. If you look for help in the current medical system, you may get a description of foot pain along with directions to the nearest drugstore for some extra-strength ibuprofen. Sure, ibuprofen would help to reduce the pain. But wouldn’t it be better just to take off your shoe and dump out the rock?

The “rocks” that are driving chronic disease are overwhelmingly environmental and behavioral—poor diet, lack of physical activity, sleep deprivation, exposure to toxins, stress, and many more. Although our genes do play a role in predisposing us to certain diseases, recent research has shown that almost 85 percent of the risk of disease comes down to these environmental and behavioral factors. Health coaches are ideally positioned and trained to support you in changing your diet, lifestyle, and behavior—which is the single most important step you can take to address chronic disease.

Why You Need A Health Coach Now More Than Ever

Our current medical paradigm is failing in the treatment of chronic disease. Despite massive spending on screening, medical research, and pharmaceutical development, rates of chronic diseases have continued to climb. One in two Americans now has a chronic disease, and one in four has multiple chronic diseases. If you’re one of these Americans struggling with a chronic illness, you may have noticed that the conventional way of treating these diseases is based on suppressing symptoms with drugs and managing the disease after it has already occurred rather than preventing and reversing disease by addressing its underlying causes. To use an analogy, imagine you get a rock stuck in your shoe, and it makes your foot hurt. If you look for help in the current medical system, you may get a description of foot pain along with directions to the nearest drugstore for some extra-strength ibuprofen. Sure, ibuprofen would help to reduce the pain. But wouldn’t it be better just to take off your shoe and dump out the rock?

The “rocks” that are driving chronic disease are overwhelmingly environmental and behavioral—poor diet, lack of physical activity, sleep deprivation, exposure to toxins, stress, and many more. Although our genes do play a role in predisposing us to certain diseases, recent research has shown that almost 85 percent of the risk of disease comes down to these environmental and behavioral factors. Health coaches are ideally positioned and trained to support you in changing your diet, lifestyle, and behavior—which is the single most important step you can take to address chronic disease.

Internet reacts to Matt Luke being hired as Ole Miss’ permanent head coach

Matt Luke was given a tough task in being named Ole Miss’ interim head coach following the firing of Hugh Freeze this past summer.

But he’s handled it well, leading the Rebels to a 6-6 record, including an upset Egg Bowl win over Mississippi State in the final week of the season. Plus, he did that while knowing his team had no shot at a bowl game, as Ole Miss had self-imposed a bowl ban for the 2017 season.

Put all that together, and what do you get? Evidently, you get Ole Miss’ next full-time head coach, as Luke was named on Sunday night. As it always does, the internet had plenty of interesting reactions to Luke’s hiring.

We’ve found some of the best ones here:

Internet reacts to Tennessee coach Butch Jones’ latest comments

Butch Jones has a knack for making comments that cause strong reactions from Vols fans on Twitter, a list that includes “Champions of Life” and “leadership reps.”

Well, on Monday, Jones was at it again. And while it wasn’t a short phrase this time, the Tennessee coach made a comment that certainly garnered more of those strong reactions.

247Sports reporter Wes Rucker tweeted that Butch Jones said ““We did everything to win the South Carolina game except score touchdowns.” And the internet erupted in response.

Rucker later tweeted that he had actually paraphrased the comment, which may have been a bit misleading when it comes to actual intent of Jones’ statement.

Here’s the clarification:

Scoring touchdowns is certainly a vital part to winning football games. And after Jones made that remark, Vols fans took to Twitter to share their opinion on the latest comment from their team’s coach:

Todd Bowles on what it was like to coach after 2016 health scare

Todd Bowles erupted into a hearty laugh. He can look back at last year’s health scare fondly now.

But there was nothing funny about the Jets coach finding himself in the hospital the day before his team was set to meet the Patriots in New England last year.

Bowles was suffering from a kidney stone and gall bladder attack. There was fear he had suffered a heart attack. He didn’t travel with the team and instead met them in Foxborough, Mass., coaching on the sideline after there was speculation he could miss the game on Christmas Eve.

“It was tough, but it helped me get to where I am right now from a health standpoint, so it’s good,” Bowles said Friday, after the Jets’ final practice before Sunday’s first-place AFC East showdown against the rival Patriots at MetLife Stadium. “I got healthier. Simple things. Eating better, working out. The normal stuff.”

Bowles easily could have skipped the game. The Jets were 4-10, and predictably got stomped, 41-3, by the eventual Super Bowl champions.

“It’s my job. I’m not going to let my team down,” Bowles said, when asked why he opted to coach the game. “It was tough doing a lot of things that weekend, but you get through it and you move on.”


Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson (toe, shoulder) and running back Bilal Powell (calf) are questionable and will be game-time decisions Sunday, according to Bowles. Neither practiced this week, but the Jets coach wasn’t ruling them out of the game yet.

“We’ll work them out before the game and see how they look,” he said. “It’s 50/50, seeing how they feel. We have two days.”

The Jets will get back defensive lineman Kony Ealy (shoulder) and running back Matt Forte (knee, toe), both of whom missed the previous game against the Browns and practiced fully Friday for the first time this week. If Powell can’t go as expected, the veteran Forte will split time in the backfield with rookie Elijah McGuire.

“It’s good just in case Powell doesn’t play, but it’s always good to have Matt out there,” Bowles said.

Ealy would get extra snaps if Wilkerson doesn’t play. So would Ed Stinson and Mike Pennel.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left shoulder) practiced fully for the first time this week Friday and will play.




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