UPDATED: Bearcat coach Mark Britton diagnosed with cancer


Updated 10-4-17 4:43 p.m.

CULLMAN – Longtime Bearcat coach Mark Britton has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. The news comes less than two weeks since Britton announced he will retire after this season. He made that announcement on Sept. 22.

Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall released the following statement late Wednesday afternoon:

"On Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 Coach Mark Britton announced his intent to retire at the end of the 2017 football season.  Within 72 hours of this announcement, Coach Britton had health concerns that required medical attention.  Through a series of tests and the attention of local physicians, Coach Britton received a diagnosis of renal cancer on Wednesday, Sept. 27.  Due to the nature of his condition, Coach Britton will need to follow his doctor’s orders at this time and take care of himself through this process.  He will undergo surgery once his medical team completes the scheduling process.  At this point, the cancer is contained in the kidney and he will require no additional chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

"We ask that you respect the privacy of Coach Britton, Mrs. Patti and their family at this time.  Additionally, we ask that you respect our student-athletes and coaching staff as they emotionally process these circumstances.  Coach Britton is beloved by the Cullman High School faculty, coaching staff, student body and community.  He will be in our thoughts and prayers as he recovers and we will support him through this journey. We will respect his wishes by pouring our hearts into this school and community."

As for the remainder of the season, Hall said, "We are waiting to find out when his surgery will be scheduled before we can make that official decision."

Britton has had a successful 30-year career in education and athletics. In 1988 he was hired on at Cullman High School to serve as history teacher, head baseball coach and assistant football coach.

Under his leadership, the Bearcat baseball team made it to the final four of the state playoffs; the team garnered 199 game wins during his 10-year run as head baseball coach.  Since 1998, two of Britton's former players have served as CHS head baseball coaches: Brian Bowen and Brent Patterson.  In 1998, Britton was hired on as the head football coach at Fairview High School, where he led the Aggies to a 17-15 record during his tenure. In 2001, Britton returned to his alma mater to take over the helm as head football coach of the Bearcats.

Last Friday night, Britton secured his 151st win, when his Bearcats beat Fayette Co. 37-34.

Copyright 2017 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Image by Joe McElroy, taken Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.