- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Denver Broncos coach John Fox, 58, fell ill on a North Carolina golf course Saturday and Monday underwent heart surgery to replace an aortic valve.
Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, 52, collapsed on the Reliant Stadium grass coming off the field at halftime Sunday night and was diagnosed as having suffered a mini-stroke.
Have these episodes served as a wake-up call, of sorts, for the NFL coaching fraternity? Should it?
“Yeah, I think you always have to understand that us as coaches, we take a lot of pride in our work,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen, who worked under Fox as his defensive coordinator in 2011. Allen was also a freshman and sophomore defensive back at Texas A&M when Kubiak was the Aggies’ running backs coach in 1992 and 1993 at College Station.
“We spend a lot of time in the meeting rooms, in the office grinding the tape, a lot of time away from our families. And I think that when you look at this, it does kind of bring things into perspective.”
Allen, at 41, is the youngest head coach in the NFL, five months and 21 days younger than San Diego’s Mike McCoy and six months and seven days younger than Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.
That brings no guarantees, though.
“You’ve got to make sure you take care of yourself, but I think that’s just naturally what we as coaches do,” Allen added. “I don’t know that that’s really going to change a whole lot.”