Bible diagnosed with cancer

Updated: November 23, 2009, 4:33 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

North Carolina State offensive coordinator Dana Bible has been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.

On Friday night, Bible was taken to the Chapel Hill Cancer Center, where he is now and will remain for the next 30 days of treatment.

NC State head coach Tom O'Brien said he talked to Bible on Friday night from the team hotel in Blacksburg, where they were staying prior to last weekend's game at Virginia Tech, and Bible was waiting for the ambulance to take him to Chapel Hill.

"[Current Boston College head coach] Frank [Spaziani] used to say sometimes your strengths are your weaknesses," said O'Brien, who went to the same high school as Bible. "Part of his strength is he never missed a practice or a game for 34 years. He said to me, 'I'll be out Saturday morning, I'll drive up.' I said, 'No, you just do what you have to do.' He's a tough old guy and he'll fight it. If he has a chance to beat it, he'll beat it."

O'Brien told quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon on Monday morning, and said he'd inform the rest of the team this afternoon. Bible calls all of the plays for NC State.

"They were both shocked," O'Brien said. "Certainly you would think that they would be. But I think they understand what I said before about Dana, how tough a guy he is. You ought to respect the family's privacy in this matter. Certainly prayers would be welcome and they're definitely needed. That's the best thing we can do right now."

Offensive lineman Julian Williams, who found out just minutes before he faced reporters at Monday's press conference, said the rivalry with North Carolina just took on "10 times" more meaning.

"He's such a good guy as far as character, and when it comes to play calling he's the best," Williams said. "It's a big blow to us but he has other things he needs to take care of right now and we'll take care of football. He's like family. I see him more than I see my own family. It hurts a lot. It's a big blow to us."

O'Brien said he will temporarily hire Jay Civetti, who was a graduate assistant at Boston College when O'Brien was there, and followed him to Raleigh the first season O'Brien was on staff with NC State. Civetti, who is now offensive coordinator at Tufts, will try to help the offense prepare for this week's rivalry game against North Carolina.

"This is tough news to hear," said safety Bobby Floyd. "I don't work as closely with coach Bible as some of the offensive players, but he's such a fiery person on the field you couldn't miss him. He's a family man. This has to be tough news on him and his family and I'm sorry to hear it.

"The team was worried about him," Floyd said of NC State's game at Virginia Tech this past weekend. "We definitely noticed him not being there."

O'Brien and Bible have been together for 11 years.

"It's shocking to everybody," O'Brien said. "When he walked into my office on Friday, he certainly didn't look good."

Information from ESPN.com's Heather Dinich was used in this report.