Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. has announced that head football coach Jody Ford has been diagnosed with rectal cancer. Ford received the news late this summer, but he says there’s hope for a full recovery. During the week, Ford has been traveling back and forth between Fayette and M-D Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

“I have informed the Eagle football team and the CMU administration that I am dealing with cancer,” Ford said in a statement. “The outpouring of support has been amazing and my family and I have been overwhelmed by it. I intend to continue leading the Eagles. I anticipate a full and rapid recovery, and I have faith that both myself and the Eagle football program are on the path to greater things. As a courtesy to my family during this time, I ask for privacy as we focus on my condition.”

As a show of support, the CMU football players have been wearing blue ribbons on their helmets, along with stickers sporting Coach Ford’s nickname: “JoFo”. Coach Ford and his Eagles are 3-1 and play at 8th ranked Missouri Valley Saturday afternoon.