It all started in December, according to Beaver Dam girls basketball coach Tim Chase, when he noticed that he wasn't feeling well.
In an interview on The Big 1070 in Madison, Chase said that at first he chalked it up to his age, or maybe something he ate, but knew that something wasn't right. So, Chase headed for the doctor's office, and one month later, decided after consulting with his family to go public with the news that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer.
While a cancer diagnosis is a very serious one, Chase remained upbeat and energetic during his interview.
"That's how it is in the coaching profession, I guess," said Chase. "There's a challenge, and you work to overcome it."
Chase is the head coach of the top-ranked Beaver Dam girls basketball team, which has taken home the gold ball in Green Bay as state champions the past three seasons in Division 2. The Golden Beavers' winning streak over in-state programs is north of 80 games, and Beaver Dam took down Badger South-leading Oregon in the Badger Challenge on Saturday in its most recent contest.
Because of the long history of success in the program, and the hard work of his coaching staff, Chase said that the program is in good hands.
"I look at this as a great opportunity for Allyson Wilke and Dan Hallman," said Chase, speaking about his assistants. "They do a great job."
The news on Monday in the Wisconsin State Journal, in a piece written by Jon Masson, shocked and surprised many in the basketball community around Wisconsin.
Oregon Panthers girls basketball coach Adam Wamsley said in an interview on The Big 1070 that he had no idea that Chase was dealing with something so serious.
"To me, it was business as usual," Wamsley said, discussing the moments following Oregon's loss to Beaver Dam on Saturday. "We shook hands after the game. You would never have guessed that was going on."
Wamsley expressed that his program wished all the best for coach Chase and the Beaver Dam program during the interview.
Coach Chase said that since the article came out, his phone hasn't stopped ringing.
"I appreciate all of the support," he said, adding that the coaches in the state are a close-knit and supportive bunch regardless of his diagnosis.
As for basketball, in addition to feeling confident about the program being in good hands, Chase didn't rule out a return to the sidelines later this season, although he said that taking care of himself medically has to come first.
Chase added that the team at UW Health was 'very good' in moving up his schedule for treatment, and feels that he's in good hands.
His advice for anyone that might not want to go see a doctor? "Really, the best thing is, you have to advocate for yourself," he said. "If you know something isn't right, you have to make sure you tell your doctors, and keep advocating for yourself until you find answers."
You can listen to the full interview here: