Broken Arrow coach opens up about health issues that led to resignation

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Updated: 12/03/2013 5:20 pm Published: 12/03/2013 5:03 pm

Broken Arrow head football coach Steve Spavital resigned after seven years at the school, four years as the head coach.

He offered more details about his health during an emotional news conference on Tuesday.

Spavital said he's been struggling with stress-related health issues for years.

He said his time at BA was time well spent.

"I've had the fortunate opportunity to work with just tremendous young men. You know, people say I've impacted their lives. They have impacted my life, and they always will," said Spavital.

Spavital said his health problems got so bad before the 2011 season he lost sight in one eye and had nine retinal tears.

His career as BA head coach came to an end Friday night with the Tigers' loss to Union in the state semifinals.

"After the game, you know, I think about every kid came up and told me they love me ... That means more than anything to me," he said.

"He coached with great passion for the game. And you know, sometimes you butt heads with him, but he'd still love you like you were his own son," said senior linebacker Gyasi Akem.

"I told him that I loved him and that I'm going to miss him and that I'm praying for recovery of his health concerns," said senior linebacker Alex Bradley.

The next step for Broken Arrow is to pick a replacement for Spavital to run the program. Officials plan to form a committee and start interviews in January.

They want someone hired by February.

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