Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard undergoes heart procedure, could return in 4-6 weeks

Feb 18, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard signals to his players during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
By Austin Meek
Sep. 15, 2023

Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard underwent a successful surgery Friday to repair an aortic aneurysm and is expected to make a full recovery in six to 12 weeks, the school announced.

Associate head coach Phil Martelli will oversee the program in Howard’s absence. Howard could return to the program in four to six weeks, the school said.


Howard’s heart condition was detected during a routine medical examination. In a statement, he thanked surgeon Himanshu Patel and doctors at the University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center for the “world-class care that has been provided to us.”

“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 said.

Michigan is scheduled to open its season against Northwood on Nov. 3, which would be seven weeks removed from Howard’s procedure. The Wolverines face St. John’s on Nov. 13 before traveling to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Howard, 50, is entering his fifth season as Michigan’s head coach after a 19-year playing career in the NBA.

“All of us at the athletic department have Juwan in our thoughts and prayers,” athletic director Warde Manuel said. “We look forward to Juwan’s return when he feels that he has fully recovered.”

(Photo: Rick Osentoski / USA Today)

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Austin Meek

Austin Meek covers Michigan football and basketball for The Athletic. He previously covered college sports for The Topeka Capital-Journal and served as sports columnist at The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon. Follow Austin on Twitter @byaustinmeek