Cowboys flight diverted after coach becomes ill

Updated: October 30, 2006, 3:34 PM ET
Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- An assistant coach for Dallas Cowboys became ill on the team's flight home, forcing the chartered jet to make an unscheduled landing in Nashville, Tenn., early Monday.

Assistant strength and conditioning coach Tony Ollison was taken to Southern Hills Medical Center and was in stable condition, the team said.

"The preliminary report on those tests were good," coach Bill Parcells said. "They were going to do another set of tests this afternoon, and I guess based on those results they would then decide whether he'd be sent back home here or remain over there."

Dallas beat the Carolina Panthers 35-14 Sunday night, and the jet had just taken off from Charlotte, N.C., when Ollison complained that he was not well.

Reporters on board said team doctors examined Ollison and found he had a low blood pressure and was sweating heavily. Ollison was given oxygen, and the jet landed in Nashville so Ollison could get to a hospital.

"I think we all had concerns there, but we did about the best we could do," Parcells said. "We were on the ground in 10 minutes about the time we decided to do that."

Airport spokeswoman Lynne Lowrance said the airport received an emergency call that there was a possible heart attack victim on board. Lowrance said Ollison was conscious when the flight landed.

The jet resumed its flight to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, landing about 5 a.m. Monday.

Ollison has been part of the Cowboys' staff for six years and also works as a strength and conditioning coach for the Dallas Desperadoes of the Arena Football League. In college, he played defensive tackle for Arkansas in 1986-90.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press