With kickoff approaching, his Carbon Hill Bulldogs were on the field warming up for the game against West Blocton at G.W. Keith Stadium.
That’s when the first-year Bulldogs’ coach noticed he didn’t feel like himself.
“I was out on the field and the team was warming up. I knew something was wrong, I told my wife Kim that I didn’t feel right,” Dollar said. “The paramedics were there and came in and took my blood pressure. It was 200/100. They said they had to take me to the hospital because I was about to have a stroke.”
Those paramedics were right.
“I had a stroke due to my high blood pressure. I really hadn’t felt good that week leading up to the game,” Dollar said.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve went through cancer, and that was tough, but this just stops you in your tracks. I’m just glad the paramedics were there. I’m lucky I’m alive.”
Now the longtime coach begins the road to recovery.
“He’s seen several doctors. We will start occupational, physical and speech therapy soon,” Kim Dollar said. “He can use his left side, but doesn’t realize it’s there. He can be holding something and doesn’t know it’s in his left hand.
“He has trouble telling time, and his short-term memory has been affected. We are working to get his blood pressure under control. He’s on several medications.”
Dollar’s return to the school is up in the air, but Kim Dollar said January could be possible.
“We are shooting for him to come back to work in January. It’s up to him how quickly he comes back. There a lot of things he can’t do right now. He just has to be a good patient,” Kim Dollar added.
With Dollar away from the team, assistant coach Al Gilmore has picked up the duties in his place. The Bulldogs have two games remaining in the season. They host Dora today and play at Cold Springs next Friday.
“I hate being away from the team,” Dollar said. “The kids have worked so hard. I wish I could be out there with them.”
Dollar is in his first year at the school after replacing Royce Young as head coach.
Dollar, who has won 151 career games, is in his 22nd year as a head coach with Carbon Hill serving as his seventh stop. The Bulldogs are 0-8 this season.