Oakland women's coach Jeff Tungate takes another medical leave of absence

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Oakland women's basketball coach Jeff Tungate is taking his second leave of absence in two years, because of continued complications with his back.

Tungate missed seven games last season, and announced Friday he would step aside for the time being again this year.

Jeff Tungate

Tungate said he doesn't want to put a timeline on his absence.

"Ten years ago I had a botched spinal fusion. Issues from that surgery continue to flare up to the point where I need to go on medical leave once again," Tungate said. "I am determined to get myself 100-percent healthy in the very near future.

"I love our team this year and have full confidence in our staff to lead our team in my absence.

"This was an extremely tough decision, but I have to take care of me."

Tungate, in his seventh season as coach, has an Oakland team that is 2-2, its most recent game a 76-56 loss at Michigan State on Tuesday.

Oakland plays at Niagara on Monday, before heading to Miami, Fla., for the FIU Thanksgiving Classic next week.

Oakland associate head coach Ke'Sha Blanton will be the acting head coach until Tungate returns.

"I fully support Jeff as he focuses on his health," Oakland athletic director Steve Waterfield said.

Tungate is under contract through the 2020-21 season, at a salary of $155,261.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984