UM's Beilein has heart surgery, will miss Spain trip

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
John Beilein

Michigan coach John Beilein underwent successful double bypass heart surgery on Monday and will miss the team's upcoming trip to Spain, the program announced on Tuesday.

Beilein, 65, is expected to leave the hospital in a few days and be fully active by the start of the 2018-19 season.

Due to his recovery, Beilein will not go on Michigan's foreign tour from Aug. 17-26 that will include stops in Madrid and Barcelona and three exhibition games. Michigan assistant Saddi Washington will serve as the team's interim head coach in Beilein's absence, with Luke Yaklich and DeAndre Haynes maintaining their assistant roles.

The scheduled procedure, which was performed by Dr. Francis Pagani at the University of Michigan's Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center, is described as a two-vessel coronary bypass graft surgery. It is designed to "improve blood flow to the heart, by taking a healthy artery or vein from another part of the body and grafting it to the obstructed coronary artery."

According to Pagani, Beilein is expected to make a full recovery and "be back to his usual activities within a few weeks."

The expected recovery period for coronary bypass surgery is roughly six to 12 weeks, and, in most cases, one can return to work after four to six weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Michigan will start preseason practice in late September ahead of its season opener against Norfolk State on Nov. 6.

"I feel grateful and blessed that this surgery was performed at the University of Michigan," Beilein said in a statement. "(Wife) Kathleen, and our family appreciate all of the world-class care that was provided for us. Dr. Kim Eagle, Dr. Francis Pagani, Dr. Stanley Chetcuti and all of their staffs at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center are so talented and performed like champions over this past week.

"I am going to work very hard in my rehabilitation to be stronger than ever by the time practice begins for this upcoming season."

Before the 2015-16 season, Beilein had a "preventive" medical procedure that left a scar on his neck. He didn't miss any time that season and he didn't offer any details about the surgery at the time, saying, "I'm 100 percent. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me."

After a brief flirtation with the Detroit Pistons this offseason, Beilein, Michigan's all-time winningest coach, signed a contract extension in July that bumped his annual pay up to $3.8 million and will keep him in Ann Arbor until at least 2022-23.

The deal includes an annual rollover function that will automatically extend the contract by one year, effectively making it a lifetime contract that ensures Michigan will be Beilein's final coaching stop until he retires.

Beilein, who will be entering his 12th season at Michigan, guided the Wolverines to a single-season program-record 33 wins last season that was highlighted by their second straight Big Ten tournament title and second national championship game appearance in six years.

"We are extremely grateful John's proactive procedure was a success and that he is resting comfortably with Kathleen and his family," athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. "All of us within the athletic department cannot wait for John's return."