The Wolfpack's Offensive Coordinator, Dana Bible, was diagnosed last week with acute Promyelocytic Leukemia or APL.
He started working as a quarterbacks coach at NC State in the 1980s, and he returned to the pack in 2007.
The surprise diagnosis forced Bible to miss last Saturday's game at Virginia Tech.
Treatments at UNC's cancer center will keep him out of NC State's final regular season game.
When students first learned the shocking news, many say they were speechless.
"It's our coach, offensive coordinator, honestly I don't have words," NCSU freshman Kenny Buchanan said.
"I'm just shocked right now," NCSU freshman Michael Yohpe said.
The news comes after an emotionally difficult time for the university. Earlier this year, legendary woman's basketball coach Kay Yow lost her battle with breast cancer.
"I feel like we've grown stronger as a campus," NCSU sophomore Kellan Overton said. "Learning from Kay Yow, we'll be able to take this full force."
Student say this coming Saturday they won't just be pulling for their team, they'll be thinking about Coach Bible and his battle is the only victory that really matters.
"It's going to be a challenge," Overtson said. "I think that everyone will be affected by this."
Bible's offensive play-calling helped lead the pack to a victory last year against UNC.
"With Carolina probably on the top of their game right now, our offense needs as much motivation as they can," Buchanan said.
The 56-year-old Bible will be hospitalized for 30 days for treatment.
In the meantime, the Wolfpack will bring back Jay Civetti to help against the Tar Heels. Civetti was a graduate assistant on offense at NC State in 2007. He has spent the past two years as offensive coordinator at a Division III school.