WESTERN BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVES
FOOTBALL COACH CONTRACT EXTENSION
Head Coach Kent Briggs
CULLOWHEE – The board of trustees at Western Carolina University unanimously approved Chancellor John W. Bardo's request for a one-year contract extension for Kent Briggs, the Catamounts' head football coach who is battling head and neck cancer.
The board granted the contract extension as part of its quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 2, the day after Briggs guided the Catamounts to a 21-7 win over Mars Hill College in the season-opening game.
Briggs, who is recovering after a seven-week round of chemotherapy and radiation treatments following surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his neck, is in the final year of a four-year contract.
Bardo announced last month that he would request a one-year extension so that Briggs can focus on his recovery without worrying about his status as head coach at the end of the current football season.
“I think it is important that Coach Briggs and his family know we are behind them,” Bardo said. “Kent and his wife, Lisa, have been a part of the university family for many years. Both are graduates of Western, and both have a great deal of affection for this institution. The university needs to stand by its people in times of difficulty.”
Briggs, 48, earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Western. An Asheville native and graduate of Reynolds High School, he played quarterback at Western under legendary coach Bob Waters from 1976 until 1979, and later worked as assistant coach with Waters from 1980 until 1988. Lisa Briggs, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Western, is an assistant professor of applied criminology.