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NMSU Coach Diagnosed With Lymphoma

July 23, 2003

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) _ Lou Henson says he plans to continue coaching at New Mexico State even though he was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Henson, 71, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that affects the body’s lymph system, the school said Tuesday.

``Through our faith, along with prayers of family, friends and others, we expect to win over possibly the toughest foe we’ve had to face in my lifetime,″ Henson said in a statement.

Henson said he and his wife Mary were ``very optimistic at this point and time.″

Henson, preparing for his 41st season of coaching, ranks second among active Division I coaches in wins with 762. Bob Knight is first with 809.

``Coach has been a fighter and winner all of his life,″ New Mexico State athletic director Brian Faison said.

Henson needs 38 wins to join Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, Knight and Jim Phelan as the only Division I men’s coaches to win 800 games.

Henson coached 21 seasons at Illinois, and left in 1996 as the school’s winningest coach with a record of 423-224. He also coached at New Mexico State from 1966-75 before returning to take over the team before the 1997-98 season.

His teams have been to the NCAA tournament 18 times, with two Final Four appearances _ New Mexico State in 1970 and Illinois in 1989.

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