Former Utah State Coach Brent Guy Says Football Helped Him Cope With Bipolar Disorder

May 26, 2020, 11:05 AM
Brent Guy - Utah State Aggies...
Utah State head coach Brent Guy talks to his team during a timeout as Utah State faces BYU in college football action at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo Saturday, September 23, 2006. (Photo by Jason Olson / Deseret News)
(Photo by Jason Olson / Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah State football head coach Brent Guy said that parallels with the game of football helped him work a coaching career of more than 30 years while hiding the fact that he suffered from bipolar disorder.

The former Aggies coach recently discussed the mental illness and his coaching career with ESPN senior writer Ivan Maisel.

Guy said that the ups and downs of football “kind of helped mask” bipolar disorder during his career.

“Football is a lot like the disease,” Guy told ESPN. “It goes up and down. When you’re winning, everybody’s kind of giddy. If you have a loss, everybody goes down. Being a college football coach kind of helped mask it a little bit because there are so many ups and downs, which is true for people with bipolar disorder like I have.”

The former collegiate coach first played college football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Guy was a defensive end and linebacker for OSU from 1979-82.

Guy began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Cowboys in 1986. He was promoted to recruiting coordinator and eventually linebacker coach before leaving Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The former Utah State head coach first spent time in Logan as the Aggies’ linebacker coach from 1992-94. After stops as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, Boise State, and Arizona State, Guy was hired as USU’s head coach.

Guy coached the Aggies from 2005-08 and posted a 9-38 record.

After his time in Logan, the former head coach finished his coaching career as an assistant for Louisville, UNLV, Tulsa, Memphis, and FIU.

Despite battling bipolar disorder, Guy had a successful coaching career, a long marriage to his wife, Shawn, and raised two kids.

After more than 30 years coaching the game of football, the former Utah State head coach retired in 2019 and moved back to Oklahoma to be near family.

“This was a very lonely disease,” Guy said. “Until now, I have never had a friend that I knew of that had what I had, had some type of mental illness, especially bipolar disorder.”

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Former Utah State Coach Brent Guy Says Football Helped Him Cope With Bipolar Disorder