Hurley was told by doctors in August that he had a degenerative spinal condition that could have left him paralyzed, and is expected to make a full recovery following surgery that took place two weeks ago.
Hurley returned to work full-time on Wednesday.
“I started worrying and having a lot of anxiety about my health and my ability to get back to being myself,” Huley said (h/t ESPN). “You start playing worst-case scenarios in your head.”
The 46-year old Hurley says that the health issue has changed his entire perspective on life.
“How important my faith is to me was reinforced. How important my family is to me was reinforced,” Hurley said. “And just how important I am to my players, to not just succeed and excel in their careers. My true sense and purpose as a coach came into much clearer focus for me.”
Hurley was touched by the warm welcome that he received from players when he made his return this week, adding that he hasn’t taken it any easier on them.
“Any of, like, that feeling sorry for me or goodwill toward the coach returning from injury went out the door when I got on guys for their lack of defensive prowess,” Hurley said. “Yeah, all that love is gone.”