Ole Miss cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff coached the Auburn game the day after having stints placed in his heart.
Yesterday we talked to McGriff about his experience on Friday and then game day.
McGriff: “It was a blessing that Pat (Jernigan, trainer) reacted the way he did. I called Jernigan (on Monday) and told him I was having a little bit of discomfort in my chest. I wanted to wait later in the week to get an EKG, but he said, ‘No, no, you’ve got to go right now.’ So we went through the whole process. They found some blockage and went in a put in a couple of stints in my chest late Friday afternoon.
“It was actually on Monday. I went back to get a stress test. I’m such a superior athlete they couldn’t find it on the normal stress test, so after putting the dye in, and they told me to get right back up there on Friday afternoon.”
McGriff said he considered not following the doctors’ advice. He did not consider ignoring the advice of Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
“My mindset told me not to go, and then I talked to coach Freeze, and he told me I didn’t have an option. He advised me the right way. When they went in they found a little blockage and was able to go in and stint it up and get me back for the game on Saturday.”
The decision to coach was more about McGriff’s tolerance for pain.
“I talked to the doctors. They did a good job of advising me and said it was just a matter of how I felt after coming out of it. Just being in some shape kind of helped me, but I was surprised at how well I did during the game. I thought I would be a little weak, but I was able to make it through … adrenaline, SEC competiton. The concern was more for before the game. After getting the stints in, the blood flow was where it needed to be. The main thing they were concerned about on game day after the procedure was where they actually made entry into my body, through the groin, they were worried about that hemmorhaging and bleeding again. As far as the chest was concerned, they weren’t worried about that. They had corrected the problem, so to speak.”
McGriff said his mother had a history of heart disease. He said he’ll have to watch his diet, specifically fried chicken and catfish.
On the field, here’s what he had to say about his cornerbacks play against Auburn. After some shuffling in the secondary earlier this season, the Rebels appear to have settled in with Charles Sawyer and Senquez Golson at the corners.
“I thought they played well. Senquez is doing a great job. We play with field and boundary corners. He’s doing a good job playing at field corner with both the run and the pass. Charles Sawyer has been a blessing. He’s doing a great job over at boundary corner. I thought our guys answered the bell. Although we made some mistakes I thought we got better. I think we’re getting better each week. I wasn’t satisfied but was happy with their performance.”