RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State men’s basketball assistant coach Rob Moxley remembered struggling to walk down the stairs in his home, then waking up in a hospital.
He knows he’s fortunate his wife was with him to call 911 in time to save him from that life-threatening offseason health scare.
“Very lucky for sure,” Moxley said Thursday. “I don’t know, I guess it was meant to be.”
The 46-year-old Moxley is back at work after being hospitalized for several days in May that caused him to be on medical leave for a time, though the school didn’t specify the nature of his medical issue.
In his first public comments, Moxley said he had complications from diabetes that ultimately led to him going into cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He also had “a few strokes.”
“It was a very scary moment for me and my family for sure,” Moxley said. “But I’ve fought through it. I’ve rehabbed. And I’m back and I’m back full-time working here at State where I want to be, where I love to be. It’s just I’m blessed to be sure, that’s for sure.”
It hasn’t been an easy recovery for the coach, who said his blood-sugar level “got out of control a little bit” to set off the May 6 problems. He had foggy vision for about two months afterward, making it impossible to watch TV or read the stream of text messages that kept dinging away on his cellphone to wish him a fast recovery.
“I couldn’t see very well at all,” he said. “And I was scared I wouldn’t get to see and watch the guys play or work out ever again. So yeah, definitely, there was a time I was worried I wouldn’t be able to coach again. Then I fought through it and my vision’s come back.
“It’s good now. I’m driving again, which my wife likes, because she doesn’t have to drive me everywhere.”
In July, head coach Mark Gottfried sounded unsure exactly when Moxley would be ready to return, saying “what he needs right now is just some time to hopefully continue to get better.” At the time, director of basketball operations Jeff Dunlap had assumed Moxley’s recruiting duties.
But Moxley was able to return to the recruiting trail by late that month, including a trip to Las Vegas.
Moxley has been an assistant known as a tireless recruiter for the Wolfpack since Gottfried’s arrival before the 2011-12 season. North Carolina State is coming off a fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and a second appearance in the Sweet 16, a run reversing the program’s long-running struggles that included missing the NCAAs in 15 of 21 seasons since Jim Valvano coached his final game in 1990.
Before arriving at North Carolina State, Moxley worked as an assistant at Middle Tennessee State, Charlotte, Maryland, Pfeiffer and Gardner-Webb. During the Charlotte and Pfeiffer stops, he coached under current Wolfpack associate head coach Bobby Lutz.
He’s still working with a physical therapist on rehab exercises once or twice a week with his left side a bit weaker than his right. He jokes that shouldn’t keep him from holding a clipboard, and adds he’s checking his blood-sugar level “eight or nine times a day” to better stay on top of it and avoid future health problems.
The father of four who says “I live to coach” is just as eager to watch his kids play soccer.
“It just makes you appreciate life,” he said. “Every day I appreciate my family, my kids especially, my wife. It makes you realize that it can be taken away, that’s for sure. It’s a great feeling to be back healthy and to be back at it, though.”
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