COLUMBUS – (WCMH) – Delaware Hayes head football coach Mike Golden has returned to coaching the Pacers this season after his battle with cancer side-lined him for the 2016 season. In his 28 seasons as a head coach in Central Ohio, Golden had never missed a game, or even a practice until doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer last year.
Two weeks before he was diagnosed, Bishop Watterson inducted Golden into their Athletic Hall of Fame.
“I had to give a speech, and I could barely speak that day, and I didn’t know why,” said Golden.
And on the Pacers’ fourth game of the season, Golden felt so sick his wife Susan urged him to go to the Emergency Room at Riverside Hospital. Golden needed his brother to drive him because he was too ill to drive.
“I told them, look if I’ve got to do anything, I’ll come back tonight after the game, and they came back in a half hour….you’re not going anywhere,” said Golden. Doctors discovered a giant cancerous mass on his lungs, and they originally thought they needed to operate immediately.
“And then they changed that because it might have killed me, the surgery,” Golden said.
“It was basically kind of suffocating him slowly because it was strangling you,” Susan Golden added. So, Golden began aggressive rounds of radiation and chemotherapy for the next few months.
“It was really scary, I think everybody went into caretaker mode–he’s great, he has such a positive attitude and he’s so strong-willed, I think that really helped a lot,” Susan added.
Golden admits he smoked for 40 years of his life, but he is healthy and glad to be back coaching this season.
“It’s miraculous you know, I think the love of Susan and my family and friends, and when you have such a good base, it’s just helps you, it helps you like crazy,” said Golden.