Football: Source says McCarney back after bypass

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North Texas head coach Dan McCarney returned to work Friday, one week after undergoing heart bypass surgery.

UNT announced Friday morning that McCarney, 59, had been out of the office for seven days after the procedure, one his doctors recommended he undergo after a routine checkup.

UNT did not state what McCarney’s surgical procedure entailed, but a source close to the situation later confirmed that he underwent a bypass.

“The medical staff was outstanding,” McCarney said in a statement. “I put my future in their hands and everything went great. I have already begun the road to recovery and am excited to be back in the office working toward making the Mean Green football program better.”

McCarney had to postpone a series of exit interviews with players last week to undergo the procedure. McCarney met with UNT officials Friday morning after returning to the office and then completed those interviews, a school spokesman said.

UNT has completed spring practice, which culminated in the Mean Green’s spring game April 13.

McCarney has dealt with medical issues twice since taking over as UNT’s coach following the 2010 season.

The former Iowa State head coach suffered a stroke while working out at a local gym Feb. 12, 2012, and was rushed to a hospital.

McCarney gradually resumed his routine of coaching, working out, spending time with his players and promoting his program while also trying to make his health a priority.

“It’s a matter of balance, but I still can’t help but wake up in the morning and go to bed at night thinking ‘What can we do to improve this program?’” McCarney said in the spring of 2012 following his stroke. “That has never changed, and it never will.”

McCarney was back on the field by the time the Mean Green began spring practice March 28.

“He will always operate at the level he operates now,” UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal said after McCarney returned from his stroke. “That’s part of his DNA. That’s why we hired him. Coming back from a stroke won’t affect the way he approaches the program. If it did, he would get out of coaching. I feel good about where he is.”

McCarney quickly regained his health and the enthusiasm that has helped him inject new life into UNT’s program.

“I feel like a million bucks,” McCarney said after UNT’s 2012 spring game. “If you had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being before the stroke, then this might be the first time I feel like a 10. I feel really good.”

McCarney had not experienced any setbacks with his health since his stroke. The bypass procedure was one McCarney needed to improve his overall outlook, a UNT spokesman said.

McCarney went on to lead UNT to a 4-8 finish in 2012. He guided the Mean Green to a 5-7 finish in his first season at the school in 2011.

The nine wins UNT has posted under McCarney the last two years are more than the total number of wins the Mean Green recorded in the four years before his arrival.

UNT will open its third season under McCarney on Aug. 31 at home against Idaho.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.


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