ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan coach Juwan Howard underwent heart surgery Friday but is expected to make a complete recovery.
School officials said Dr. Himanshu Patel successfully removed an aortic aneurysm and repaired Howard’s aortic valve. Patel said Howard is expected to fully recover in six to 12 weeks and could return to the program in four to six weeks.
Michigan opens the season Nov. 7 by hosting UNC Asheville. Michigan associate head coach Phil Martelli will serve as the Wolverines’ interim head coach during Howard’s recovery.
“I feel so grateful and blessed that this surgery was performed at University of Michigan Health,” Howard said in a statement. “My wife, Jenine, and our family appreciate the world-class care that has been provided to us. Dr. (Kim) Eagle, Dr. Patel, Dr. (Stanley) Chetcuti and all of the staff at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center are so talented and performed like champions throughout this process. I am going to work very hard in my rehabilitation to be stronger than ever by the time our upcoming season is upon us.”
School officials said Howard’s conditions were identified following a routine medical check.
“We are extremely grateful Juwan’s proactive procedure was a success and that he is resting comfortably,” athletic director Warde Manuel said. “We will continue to support Juwan, Jenine and his family as well as the program throughout his absence. All of us at the athletic department have Juwan in our thoughts and prayers. We look forward to Juwan’s return when he feels that he has fully recovered.”
Martelli has plenty of head coaching experience after posting a 444-328 record at Saint Joseph’s from 1995-2019. He joined Michigan’s staff in 2019.
Saddi Washington and Howard Eisley will maintain their assistant coach roles while Howard is out. Jay Smith will be elevated to Michigan’s third assistant position during this time.