Toledo football head coach Jason Candle recently tested positive for COVID-19, which makes him the first known FBS coach to contract the virus. The university announced the news on Wednesday and Candle is currently self-isolating for the next 10 days. Candle went to Twitter and said he's not experiencing any symptoms. The school said Candle was exposed to the coronavirus from an individual outside the athletic department.
"I recently tested positive for COVID-19," Candle wrote. Fortunately, I have not experienced any symptoms. I appreciate all the doctors and medical workers who are on the front lines battling the virus. I look forward to returning to the team after meeting safety guidelines." Toledo will not suspend activities despite Candle's test. However, more than 10 programs including Ohio State and North Carolina had to temporarily halt voluntary workouts due to the positive COVID-19 tests, according to CBS Sports. The NCAA hasn't made a decision about football being played this year, but some conferences have made some changes, including the Big Ten who announced it would only play conference games in 2020. On Friday, the NCAA released a statement regarding having fall sports championships this year.
"The health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. "We all remain deeply concerned about the infection trend lines we see. It is clear that the format of our championships will have to change if they are to be conducted in a safe and fair manner."
Toledo is hoping to get Candle back very soon. The 40-year-old coach has been with the program since 2009 and started as an assistant coach. He was promoted to head coach in 2016 and has led the Rockets to a 34-19 record during that span. His best season was in 2017 when the team went 11-3 and won the Mid-American Conference. In 2019, Toledo went 6-6 with a 3-5 conference record.
"We're a program that is on solid ground and built for the future and our expectations here are very high," Candle said in April 2017. "We’re not going to hide from those. This city deserves a championship and that’s what we’re chasing."