Coppin coach Mitchell OK after surgery

Associate coach handling practices until his return

College Basketball

October 24, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Coppin State men's basketball coach Fang Mitchell revealed yesterday that he underwent "major surgery" on Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center, but he did not disclose the nature of his problem.

Mitchell, 56, said the surgery was successful, but he has been running a fever that makes him susceptible to pneumonia, prompting doctors to take precautionary measures. He said he entered the hospital Tuesday for the surgery after not feeling well for some time.

"I want to get out of here and coach my team," said Mitchell, whose Eagles open Nov. 20 at Kentucky. "But you know how careful they have to be with a fever."

Mitchell disclosed the surgery yesterday after initially not wanting to "tell the world" about the operation.

"You know I'm a very private man," Mitchell said. "My phone has been ringing off the hook today and I've almost decided not to answer it."

He said all his assistant coaches have been shown how to conduct practices so "things will be running on schedule" until he returns. Associate coach Don Anderson has been running practices.

Mitchell has won 304 games at Coppin since becoming coach in 1987. He has been the school's athletic director since 1996.

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