Ex-Kentucky coach Guy Morriss says he's fighting Alzheimer's

Former Kentucky and Baylor coach Guy Morriss, who also played in the NFL for 15 years, told Lexington TV station WKYT he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The 66-year-old Morriss went public in telling WKYT on Monday that he has been battling Alzheimer's for several months and is currently undergoing treatment.

Morriss had a 9-14 record at Kentucky during the 2001 and '02 seasons. He was fired from Baylor in 2008 with an 18-40 record over five seasons.

Morriss said the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky diagnosed him last fall, and that for eight months, Morriss and wife Jackie have been dealing with the sobering diagnosis.

"People say, 'What's wrong with Coach Morriss? Why is he doing this? He's kind of sluggish,'" Morriss told WKYT in the interview.

Alzheimer's is a type of dementia. More than five million people in the United States have Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in America.

Morriss said the changes in his behavior and other health problems made routine activities difficult or impossible to perform. His symptoms include short-term memory loss, mood and personality changes, and difficulties dressing himself.

"At first I couldn't write my name," he said. "I could not write my name. I didn't know my ABCs. I couldn't do that little rhyme.

"You wake up one day ... everything connects," he continued. "Next time, you get out of bed. ... It's just a day at a time."

Morriss played on the offensive line for TCU and a combined 15 years professionally for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. He was an assistant coach for New England and Arizona.

Morriss also coached at Valdosta State and Mississippi State.