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Coach Collins to Undergo Surgery

By Todd McClamroch in News on Jan 4, 2007 2:05PM

01_04_06_jimmy_collins.jpgUniversity of Illinois-Chicago basketball coach Jimmy Collins, who took a leave of absence from the team less than two weeks ago, is expected to undergo surgery this morning to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The surgery comes just a day after Collins was admitted to the hospital after results from tests performed last week identified the aneurysm. The surgery will be performed at the University of Illinois Medical Center. According to a release by UIC, Collins "will not return to the sidelines to coach the Flames until he has fully recovered."

Collins, in his 11th season with the Flames, is their all-time winningest coach. He joined the team in 1996 after spending 13 years at University of Illinois under Lou Henson. He helped the UIC Flames earn their first ticket to the NCAA Tournament in 1998. Since then he has helped them return in 2002 and again in 2004. Chicagoist is hoping he makes a full recovery and can take his team to the NCAA Tournament again in the future.

In the absence of Coach Collins, Associate Head Coach Mark Coomes has taken the reigns. Coomes has been working with Jimmy Collins for 10 years at University of Illinois. Commes will lead the team back into action on January 4 against Wright State before returning home on January 10 to host Butler.

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