Nebraska women’s coach Connie Yori wanted to just talk basketball, but instead spent most of her regular Tuesday news conference discussing her health after collapsing during Sunday’s game at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Or, as Yori put to it, “Embarrassing myself on national TV.” Yori was in good spirits and joked about what the basketball secretary told her: that she looked like a redwood tree falling in a forest.
Yori, who was taken to a local hospital but released to go home later Sunday night, said she’s fine now. The episode, according to her doctor, was the result of a bad combination of not feeling well, a stressful job, some bacterial issues and the loss of fluids.
“The odd thing is that I drink more water than any human being alive,” Yori said. “I really do. I drink a gallon of water a day, so it was weird that they were telling me I was dehydrated.”
Yori said she hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks leading up to Sunday’s game against Indiana and told her assistant coaches at halftime she felt dizzy.
“I don’t know what happened after that,” Yori said. “I think I might have passed out for just a few seconds, is what I think happened. I just remember I looked up and there were a bunch of people looking at me.”
Yori texted her coaches and players Sunday night that she was fine and would see them at practice Tuesday.
“I don’t know how boisterous she’s going to be today at practice,” senior Jordan Hooper said. “But it’s good to see her up and moving. She looks a lot better today.”
Yori worked for several hours in her office Monday and plans to make Thursday’s road trip to Ohio State.
“I feel a lot better today than yesterday, and a lot better yesterday than on Sunday,” Yori said. “I think as coaches, we get busy in our season and we probably don’t take care of ourselves as much as we should.”
Yori said she received numerous text message and emails from coaches around the country wishing her well and letting her know they understood what she was going through. NU men’s coach Tim Miles related a similar situation he had a two years ago when he was at Colorado State.
“Coaching is a demanding profession; it’s 24-7,” Yori said. “You don’t really get a lot of rest, and that’s with trying to balance family, but it’s what it is. You’ve got to love what you’re doing and find a way to balance so that you stay healthy.”
Yori watched video of the final 12 minutes of the game and liked how her players and coaches responded. The Huskers, who had just tied Indiana at 50-all when Yori left, finished the game on a 26-11 run.
“It was obvious when I went back and watched it, the crowd got into it, which was pretty cool,” she said. “Our players fed off that. I am really proud of our players. It’s not an easy situation to see someone they know laying on the floor.
“Sunny (associate head coach Sunny Smallwood) is in charge of the defense and Dayna (assistant coach Dayna Finch) is in charge of the offense. They know what to do in that situation and they are really good at their jobs.”