More Money, More Problems

First of all, Happy New Year!

USA Today featured a comprehensive story on college football coaches and their total salaries (breakdowns of base salaries and bonuses, etc.) in early November. The highest paid coaches in 2009 lead the most prestigious football programs in the country, including Pete Carroll of Southern California, Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Urban Meyers of Florida, among others. The aforementioned coaches made at least $4 million dollars in total salary in 2009 (access the full list here). $4 million. A salary of $4 million is higher than most professions, but unfortunately the pressures of receiving such a salary can take their toll. Urban Meyer, for example, recently resigned from his coaching job at the University of Florida due to recent health problems, in which Meyer lost consciousness and was admitted to the hospital. Fortunately for Meyer, there was no heart damage. But he had been experiencing chest pains for the past two years. He reportedly lost 20 pounds during a 10-day period around the SEC title game against arch-rival Alabama. A competitive drive and relentlessness such as Meyer’s are shared, to some degree, by many. It is this same drive that leads to burn out and potential health problems. It is important to be aware of warning signs and symptoms and to discuss any concerns with a physician. Take note of changes and the duration of those changes. For example, weight loss in the past 10 days resulting from a loss of appetite. It is important that each of us takes a more proactive role in maintain our health and well-being, both physically and mentally. Physicians cannot be relied upon to solve all of our health care problems; their job is done more accurately and efficiently when we are fully engaged and assist them in the process.
For this new year, I encourage each of you to reflect on what your health means to you. Remember that health is a resource for living. It is our vehicle to enjoy all that life has to offer, whether it’s traveling, sports, cooking, music or the arts. I wish each of you a healthy and prosperous 2010!

If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line at

Ramon P. Llamas, MPH, CHES

View posts by Ramon P. Llamas, MPH, CHES
Ramon holds a Masters in Public Health degree with an emphasis on health promotion and health education from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and a BS in biological sciences and biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the Men's Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association. His background includes health promotion at the US DHHS in Washington, DC and Director of Programs for Men's Health Network.
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