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Press Release – HeadsUp! CTE Formed in Honor of Sean O’Malley, Ole Miss Rebel #99 and the Cardio Coach

June 12, 2012


Heads Up! CTE ( is formed to support former athletes and their families dealing with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

June 12, 2012

Following the suicide of former All SEC Ole Miss Dean’s List football player Sean O’Malley (#99) this past March, Sean’s family and friends started an organization called Heads Up! CTE to bring awareness about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) to other former athletes and their families.

Colleen O’Malley, Sean’s sister, her husband Jeff Weber, and her parents Dr. Charles ‘Chuck’ and Nancy O’Malley decided to form Heads Up! CTE after realizing that Sean suffered from CTE and not clinical depression and ADHD.  Sean started seeing medical specialists in his 20s following some changes in memory and attention and was diagnosed with ADHD.  In his 30s, his family started watching his behavior shift as he went from being a world famous motivational fitness coach known as the Cardio Coach ( to a recluse.  As he approached his late 30s many interventions were made to bring Sean to the best medical professionals who tragically never questioned Sean’s history with head injuries or linked his changes in behavior, memory and mood to CTE. Instead they diagnosed him with clinical depression and put him on pharmaceuticals which Sean complained never worked. Just before Sean’s 41st birthday, Sean took his own life.

Following the funeral Colleen, Jeff and Sean’s former college girlfriend and fellow Ole Miss athlete, now Mental Health Specialist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Angela Brignole English, started comparing notes and stories about Sean’s behavior changes.  It became apparent Sean had what was becoming publicly known as the Pro Football Players disease: CTE.  As others in Sean’s circle started hearing about his death, they too began sharing information and stories confirming Sean was experiencing all of the symptoms of CTE and not clinical depression.

Colleen captured her and Angela’s research, as well as articles about CTE sent in from dozens of Sean’s fans and friends in a blog site which is now at  This site houses the latest news, resources, treatment options, discussion boards and a registry for CTE victims to ‘sign in’ and find support.  Together with Angela and Dr. Michelle Reillo, founder of the Hyperbaric Treatment Association (HTA) Heads Up! CTE is bringing awareness, diagnostic tools, and resources to other forgotten athletes, their families and their communities through workshops, races, webinars, social networking, and other events.  The goal is not only to provide awareness but funding and treatment options for all CTE victims so that no one else has to lose their loved ones to this tragic disease.

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