Pope: ND assistant Bob Elliott back after kidney transplant
April 8, 2013 6:58PM
Notre Dame safety Matthias Farley, left, stands behind safeties coach Bob Elliott during practice, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at the Miami Dolphins' training facility in Davie, Fla. Notre Dame is scheduled to play Alabama on Monday, Jan. 7, in the BCS national championship NCAA college football game. Farley was a soccer player before transitioning to football, first as a wide receiver and now a starting safety for No. 1 Notre Dame. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Updated: May 10, 2013 6:35AM
South Bend — Notre Dame wide receiver Corey Robinson jumped, twisted his body in midair and came down with a catch as Josh Atkinson defended during a drill Monday morning.
Safeties coach Bob Elliott stopped Atkinson before the cornerback headed back to the line and the two chatted about the sequence.
Elliott hasn’t missed a moment to teach before and after a successful kidney transplant.
“I don’t have to do dialysis now, so that’s wonderful,” Elliott said Monday. “It’s just a matter of endurance now for me. But things are going really well.”
Elliott had the transplant on Feb. 6. His sister, Betsy, was the donor.
“Coach Elliot is a fighter. He’s a beast,” Notre Dame safety Matthias Farley said last week. “He had a kidney transplant and we went over and saw him and he was walking around. It’s a huge blessing to have him as a coach.
“(He’s) someone in our corner who is there for us. You would never know he needed a kidney transplant last year. He would never complain about it. He would never say anything. We still have the same relationship. We still go watch film together. You wouldn’t know unless he told you.”
Elliott said dialysis started in March of 2012.
“I didn’t feel bad doing dialysis. It was just a pain in the butt,” he said. “I didn’t feel bad last year at all. Endurance and those kinds of things are a factor when you are doing dialysis. But it wasn’t a huge deal other than the inconvenience.”
He did it every day, at noon and at night. He kept on coaching. He kept on recruiting.
“I’ve never seen the resolve of a coach like coach Elliott,” Notre Dame defensive lines coach Mike Elston said. “I’m so blessed to be part of his life and blessed to be coaching on the sidelines with him. He’s just an amazing example of determination and just being a tough, tough man. He did it all the right way. … He wouldn’t have been able to do it without his wife Joey, she’s one of the finest people in the whole world.
“… He’s one of the most special people in my life right now. I don’t even know that half the people knew what was going on with him, which is the way he wanted it. He didn’t want any of the attention.”
Elliott said his sister is well.
“They always say it’s tougher on the donor than it is on the recipient in the short term. In the long term is the issue. But she’s doing great,” he said.
“… I had a lot of volunteers, had about 10 that volunteered. And there were three or four matches. She was the first match.”
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had his own indicator for Bob Elliott’s health.
“He’s back to being a pain in the butt,” Kelly joked on March 19, “so we know he’s doing well.”