LSU's Bertman exhibits heart attack signs, is hospitalized

Updated: June 1, 2008, 11:26 AM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU's outgoing athletic director and former national championship baseball coach Skip Bertman was hospitalized Saturday with what doctors believed were early signs of a heart attack.

LSU sports spokesman Herb Vincent said the 70-year-old Bertman was resting comfortably after doctors placed a stent in one of the main arteries carrying blood from the heart.

Bertman was on campus earlier Saturday working in his office and began to feel discomfort after driving home to get ready for LSU's NCAA regional game against Southern Mississippi on Saturday night, which LSU won 13-4.

"He wasn't feeling well, so he just decided to go to the hospital," Vincent said.

Bertman's wife, Sandy, drove him to the hospital and notified LSU athletics officials of her husband's condition later Saturday night.

"It was kind of going on during the game so we didn't know when the team went out on the field," Vincent said.

Vincent made the announcement immediately after the game ended, which also was when LSU's coaches and players were told.

"The first I just want to say obviously is that my thoughts and prayers are with Skip and Sandy and their family right now," coach Paul Mainieri said. "I was just shocked. It took a little bit of the good feeling of tonight away from me because I think the world of the man. ... He'll come through this. It shows that there's a lot of things more important than baseball."

As LSU baseball coach, Bertman led the Tigers to five national titles -- in 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000 -- while leading the Tigers to 11 College World Series appearances beginning in 1986. He retired from coaching and became athletic director after the 2002 season and is due to officially step into a fundraising role as athletic director emeritus on July 1.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press