Illness forces Capital coach to take leave of absence

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Damon Goodwin has been Capital's men's basketball coach for the past 21 seasons.

Capital head men's basketball coach Damon Goodwin will be stepping away from the team for the 2015-16 season to tend to a personal illness.

Goodwin informed the school he will begin treatment immediately for hairy cell leukemia, a rare, but highly treatable cancer of the blood. His treatment will continue for several months, requiring Goodwin to take a leave of absence. He is expected to return to the program when he is healthy.

"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Damon and his family as they prepare to take on this challenge," said athletic director Steve Bruning. "We send our best wishes and support the Goodwins in looking forward to a full recovery. Please join me in respecting the family's privacy at this difficult time."

While Goodwin undergoes treatment, assistant coach Andy Winters has been named the interim head coach. Winters enters his second season with the team.

"Andy [Winters] has shown in a very short amount of time that he is more than capable of handling the day-to-day duties that surround Capital men's basketball, and I am fully confident that he can continue preparing our young men to successfully compete against some top-notch competition this year," said Bruning. "We are all behind Coach Winters and the rest of the staff as they prepare for and enter the season."