Former Irish captain and current graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy will be taking “intermittent leaves of absence” from the football program for cancer treatment, the University announced Thursday.
“A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a very treatable form of cancer,” said McCarthy, who captained Notre Dame’s 2009 team and spent time in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.
“(Wednesday, I began chemotherapy as the next step in eliminating this disease. I’m truly blessed to have such amazing love and support from family and friends. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. I expect a full recovery and look forward to returning to the team during and after my treatment. Go Irish!”
McCarthy received rave reviews from head coach Brian Kelly and the coaching staff in the spring when Notre Dame’s leading tackler in 2008-09 returned to his alma mater. His emergence as a budding young coach allowed secondary coach Kerry Cooks to spend more time with the cornerbacks on the practice field while McCarthy worked with the safeties - his college position.
“Kyle’s attitude and outlook toward his treatment is remarkable,” Kelly said. “We will support him the entire way. We are very confident he’ll receive the necessary treatment to make a complete recovery.”
McCarthy’s 240 tackles rank second in school history among defensive backs. His younger brother Dan, who encountered several injuries that curtailed his football career, followed Kyle to Notre Dame after both established distinguished careers at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio.
Kyle McCarthy signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2010 and played in 12 games in 2010-11. He later signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders before a series of knee injuries forced him end his playing career.