Coppin State coach Mitchell cleared for season opener

Updated: December 8, 2004, 8:03 AM ET
SportsTicker

BALTIMORE - Coppin State men's basketball coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell was cleared by doctors Tuesday to guide the team in its season opener against No. 9 Kentucky on Saturday.

Mitchell underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor the size of a fist from his chest on October 19 at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The tumor was discovered earlier that month after the 56-year-old coach complained of shortness of breath in the spring.

Also Coppin State's athletics director, Mitchell will return on a part-time basis but expects to be cleared for full-time duty within four weeks.

"My doctor wants me to work only part-time, so that means I'm a basketball coach," Mitchell said. "I will go on trips, but I have to take it easy and sit down. I can't be my normal self."

Entering his 19th season as coach of Coppin State, Mitchell has guided the Eagles to three NCAA Tournament appearances - including an upset victory over South Carolina in the first round in 1997 - and six 20-win seasons in the past 13 years.

The six-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year is the all-time winningest coach in school history with 304 career triumphs.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES

MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM