Lou Henson Returns to Campus

New Mexico State men's basketball coach Lou Henson made a triumphant return to the NMSU campus and to Las Cruces Monday at a press conference.

New Mexico State men's basketball coach Lou Henson made a triumphant return to the NMSU campus and to Las Cruces Monday at a press conference.

Henson, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in late July, returned to Las Cruces this weekend after receiving treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

"I feel great," said Henson. "I don't feel any different at all. The only thing weak is my voice. I didn't talk for three weeks and that's all I've done since I came back to town. The strength is there and I feel good about everything."

Henson enters the 2003-04 season as the second winningest active coach with a record of 762-386 in 40 seasons. He trails only former Big Ten rival and current Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight

"I do have something that works in my favor; I have a very high energy level. I played nine holes of golf Friday and 18 Sunday. I exercise everyday, which is important."

Henson believes his normal routine and his chosen profession will be a positive influence on his battle with cancer.

"In a stressful job, you have to stay in shape and that will help now. You need to be busy. If I can't do it (coach), I wouldn't do it. I see no problem. There is no reason why you can't function with this type of cancer."

Henson was also very grateful for all the support he has received from former players, fans and friends.

"We have had tremendous support. The letters, cards and e-mails from all over the country have been very encouraging to our family."

Henson is one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball.

He has led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (1970, New Mexico State; 1989, Illinois) and has led the Aggies and Illini to a combined 19 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Henson, a 1955 graduate of New Mexico State, began his head coaching career at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas in 1962. He took over at his alma mater in 1966 and left to become the head coach at Illinois in 1975. He retired from Illinois following the 1995-96 season, but returned to the bench at New Mexico State in 1999. Since returning to Las Cruces, Henson has a record of 76-35 and has posted three 20-win seasons in four years


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