CINCINNATI — Cincinnati basketball coach Mick Cronin will not work games or practices for the rest of the season because of an artery problem.
The 43-year-old coach can watch film and recruit despite his condition, which his doctors have described as a "flap in his artery wall," he said during a press conference on Friday morning.
"I'll still be running the program, just in a different role," said Cronin, adding that his exposure to basketball will be limited to watching games on television. He has been meeting with the team before practice and then returning to his office, he said.
Cronin, who described himself as the Bearcats' "general manager," is expected to return next season, said Dr. Mario Zuccarello of UC Health's Department of Neurosurgery in a statement.
"If I follow orders, it should be onward and upward for the rest of my life," Cronin said in his first public appearance since his condition was diagnosed.
He wanted to make the appearance to ease concerns about his condition, he said.
"I walk into restaurants and people look like they've seen a ghost," he said, half-jokingly. "People stand up and cheer."
Unusually persistent and painful headaches prompted doctors to schedule more in-depth examinations, including an MRI. He spent the night before Cincinnati's game against Virginia Commonwealth on December 20 being checked out and was able to tell his team he wouldn't be coaching until an hour before the game.
Led by an admittedly distracted associate head coach Larry Davis, Cincinnati had its worst loss of the season, 68-47.
"Not taking anything away from VCU, but I was somewhere else," Davis said. "(The Bearcats) were somewhere else."
Treatment for the condition is medication, rest and keeping his blood pressure, Cronin said.
"When they told me all I need is rest and medication and to maintain a normal blood pressure, that would be great for 99 percent of the country, but not for coaching," Cronin said.
Cronin's father, longtime Cincinnati high school coach and baseball scout Harold "Hep" Cronin, was on hand at the press conference.
Cronin has missed three games since December 20, when Cincinnati announced his condition as an aneurysm, but he's been working every day since December 26, he said. The Bearcats are 2-1 under Davis.
"The best news is one of the best young coaches in the country is going to heal up and be back coaching," Davis said.
Cronin, 43, is 169-109 in nine seasons as Cincinnati's coach and 238-133 in 12 seasons overall.
Cincinnati (9-3) is scheduled to play its American Athletic Conference opener on Saturday at home against Southern Methodist (10-3, 1-0). Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.
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