Michigan coach Juwan Howard underwent a successful heart procedure to resect an aortic aneurysm and repair Howard’s aortic valve, the school announced Friday. Howard is expected to make a full recovery within six to 12 weeks and could return to basketball activity in as little as four weeks. The timeline would put Howard back on the court for the start of the Wolverines’ 2023-24 season, which tips off with a Nov. 3 game against Northwood.
Wolverines associate coach Phil Martelli will lead the program in the interim.
“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. (Himanshu) 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.”
Howard was hired by Michigan in 2019 following the departure of John Beilein and has a 79-48 record at the school with two NCAA Tournament appearances. The former star basketball player for the Wolverines is best known for being part of the “Fab Five” during the 1991-92 season. Howard, along with Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, revolutionized the game of college basketball by showing freshmen can play key roles for top basketball programs.
Martelli, the former longtime St. Joseph’s head coach, joined Michigan’s staff in 2019 following his departure from the Hawks program. Martelli has a 444-328 career record with seven NCAA Tournament appearances under his belt.