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Arkansas State coach taking leave while wife fights cancer

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson is taking a leave of absence while his wife fights cancer.

Athletic director Terry Mohajir said Monday in a statement that Anderson was taking the leave indefinitely to be with his family. Mohajir added: "We will continue to pray for peace for his family and provide assistance any way we can."

Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator David Duggan will serve as interim head coach.

Anderson had spoken during Arkansas State's Media Day on Aug. 1 about the possibility of stepping away at some point. He said at the time he had spoken with school officials about his family situation and "kind of always wanted to make sure we were super prepared, pray for the best but prepare for the worst."

Anderson and his wife, Wendy, have one daughter and two sons.

Anderson has gone 39-25 record in five seasons at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves open the season Aug. 31 by hosting SMU.

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Updated August 19, 2019

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