SportsFOX 17 Blitz


Hopkins’ Mick Francis continues coaching despite cancer

Posted at 11:08 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 23:08:27-04

HOPKINS, Mich -- Mick Francis has been on the Hopkins football sidelines for 45 years now and nothing can slow him down. In January, Francis went to the doctor where they found an inoperable mass in his throat, on top of that he was also diagnosed with stage four liver cancer.

Suddenly, Francis didn't think he would even make it to football season.

"I was originally given four to six months to live," Francis said. "One of the kids asked me, 'are you going to coach this year coach?' I said 'I'll be there the first day,' but that's all I was hoping for."

Francis beat those odds. Hopkins won their opening round game, 46-6 against Berrien Springs and Coach Francis is hoping he can see a state championship before his time is up.

"To watch my son get that trophy," Francis said emotionally, "I'd do an Irish jig around that field. I will, if we win the state championship, you'll see an old fat guy doing an Irish jig."

"He wants to see that state championship," Viking senior Cole Marschall said, "he doesn't know if this is last year and I hope it's not, but if it is he wants to see us win one out of all his years of coaching."

The outlook continues to improve for Francis, who wants to coach again next Fall.

"They said, 'I didn't think you'd make one year but I'm pretty sure you've got maybe two left,'" Francis said after a doctor's appointment just weeks ago.

Hopkins takes on Kalamazoo United on Friday night at Vicksburg High School in the District Championship.