Ken Miller delivered some very surprising news Wednesday at the Grey Cup coaches news conference.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach revealed that in 2002 he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent experimental treatment at the time in southern California.
Miller started his CFL coaching career that year as the Toronto Argonauts quarterbacks coach but a teaching commitment, combined with his cancer treatments, forced him to join the Double Blue later than originally anticipated.
"At that time it was a kind of treatment that they considered almost as being experimental, it was proton beam radiation," Miller said. "I was involved in treatment for a number of weeks, eight weeks during the latter part of June so that's really what prevented me from coming at that point and time."
Proton beam radiation is a form of therapy where radiation is delivered by a machine pointed at the area that's to be treated. It's thought to be a more effective treatment because it delivers less radiation to surrounding areas of the tumour, which in turn helps preserve other tissues and causes fewer side effects.
Miller, 68, said he currently enjoys a clean bill of health.
"It was a very successful treatment and I really haven't had anything related to that for a number of years."
Miller leads the Roughriders into the Grey Cup game Sunday (TSN, 6 p.m., ET) against the Montreal Alouettes.
The appearance will be Miller's first as Saskatchewan's head coach but his second with the club in two years. He was the team's offensive co-ordinator when the Riders beat Winnipeg to win the "07 CFL championship.
The Riders will face the Montreal Alouettes in Sunday's game. The Als are making their second straight Grey Cup appearance under head coach Marc Trestman and are looking to avenge last year's championship loss to the Calgary Stampeders.