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Cincinnati coach Cronin out for rest of season

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Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin will not coach his team for the rest of the season for health reasons but will oversee the program in an advisory role.

Athletic director Mike Bohn made the announcement Friday while Cronin, 43, continues to deal with a non-life threatening vascular condition known as arterial dissection.

Bohn said, because of precautionary reasons, Cronin will not coach the Bearcats during practices or games this season, but will continue running the program, directing the coaching staff, game planning and recruiting.

Cronin, who has led Cincinnati to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, has been advised to rest and avoid stress.

“I have the utmost confidence in our coaching staff and players that we will continue to develop as a team and play Bearcats basketball,” Cronin said in a statement. “This program is bigger than any coach or player. I don’t want this to be a distraction but instead want the focus to be on the growth and support of this team.

“Please know I am doing fine and look forward to continuing to help our basketball staff and players in my new, but temporary role as the Bearcats’ general manager for the rest of the year.”

UC announced on Dec. 20 that Cronin had an “unruptured aneurysm.” His arterial dissection was originally discovered during a routine workup scheduled after a complaint of lingering headaches. He sat out Cincinnati’s games against VCU (Dec. 20), Wagner (Dec. 23) and N.C. State (Dec. 30) while awaiting test results and treatment options.

“The prognosis is excellent,” Dr. Norberto Andaluz, UC’s health director of neurosurgery, said in a statement. “An important part of Mr. Cronin’s treatment and recovery includes rest, medication and keeping a normal blood pressure.”

Added Dr. Mario Zuccarello: “We are optimistic in this case. Coach Cronin’s career is not jeopardized by this condition and we all look forward to seeing him back on the court next season and enjoying a long successful career thereafter.”

Ninth-year associate head coach Larry Davis will lead the Bearcats during Cronin’s absence. Davis previously spent nine years as head coach at Furman (1998-2006), compiling a 124-139 record. Bearcats director of student-athlete development Mark Berger also will be elevated to an assistant coach for practices and games during the remainder of the season.

Cronin was upbeat as he addressed reporters Friday.

“I feel great,” Cronin said. “The way I look at it, I’m extremely lucky.

“Watching the game is my biggest problem,” Cronin said jokingly. “I’m not a brain surgeon, but I’ve been hanging out with them.”

Cincinnati is 9-3 and faces SMU on Saturday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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