There was a pleasant sign at Notre Dame's football practice on Tuesday as graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy was back on the field coaching.
The former Irish captain announced last week he will be taking Intermittent absences from the team to undergo chemotherapy.
Irish coach Brian Kelly says McCarthy has already undergone four treatments and is now off for a week.
"He just needs to be here in his own mind," Kelly explained. "The way he is handling his own battle right now, he needs these two hours with his guys. He feeds off of being around the football players."
And the football players are feeding off of McCarthy's resolve.
"I think having him going through what he is going through and still being out there for us really makes everyone pick their game up that much more," defensive back Mattias Farley explains.
McCarthy, a safety for Notre Dame through the 2009 season, played a few seasons in the NFL before injuries ended his playing career. He's now coaching the safeties at Notre Dame as one of the most active graduate assistants you can find.
Defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks says McCarthy's resolve is remarkable. Cooks says McCarthy has missed some time here and there during his treatments but that Kyle has not missed an entire day yet.
"If I ever have my opportunity to have a head job I would hire him in a heartbeat, just by how he carries himself," Cooks says. "Obviously he is a very smart detailed individual and I think that the future is very bright for him as a coach."
McCarthy is battling an undisclosed form of cancer that's been described as "very treatable."