Steve Gleason, a key member of Washington State’s 1997 Rose Bowl team and a former New Orleans Saints player now battling Lou Gehrig’s disease, is due to return to the WSU campus Saturday night for the Arizona State game.
Gleason revealed his fight with the illness publicly in late September. He and his wife had a baby boy late in October.
WSU coach Paul Wulff said he would welcome some interaction between Gleason and his team, including a talk from the ex-Cougar linebacker.
“I want him to do what he wants to do, what he’s comfortable doing,” Wulff said. “We’re going to wait and see. I know he’s struggling a little talking right now. I want him to be engaged, as much as he’s willing to be engaged with our team.”
The disease attacks the central nervous system. Life expectancy after diagnosis is usually 2-5 years.
“He’s one of the best Cougs I’ve ever met in my life,” said a former WSU teammate, Collin Henderson. “He’s exactly what a Coug is.”