Richmond men’s basketball coach Chris Mooney will undergo heart surgery next week and miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season, the school announced Friday. Assistant Peter Thomas will serve as interim head coach during Mooney’s recovery period, which is expected to last four to eight weeks.
The school says Mooney, 50, is undergoing surgery to remove an ascending aortic aneurysm. He is in his 18th season leading the program, making him the longest serving coach in the Atlantic 10.
“The University of Richmond and Spider Athletics are committed to doing everything they can to support Chris on his path to a full recovery,” Richmond athletic director John Hardt said in a statement Friday. “Our main focus is ensuring that Chris has the time and space to prioritize his health and his family during this time. We look forward to Chris returning to campus to lead Spider Basketball when he is fully recovered and ready to resume his duties.”
Since taking over the role prior to the 2005-06 season, Mooney has compiled a program record 325 wins and seven 20-win seasons. During the 2021-22 campaign, Mooney helped lead the Spiders to their second-ever A-10 Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Richmond defeated No. 5 seed Iowa in the first round before going out to No. 4 seed Providence in the Round of 32.
Richmond is 13-14 overall and 6-8 in A-10 play this season. The team returns to action for its first game without Mooney on Tuesday against St. Louis.
“I want to thank the Richmond Athletics leadership, my coaching staff, and our players for doing everything they could to make a difficult situation a little easier,” Mooney said in a statement.
“I am grateful to have a tremendous medical team to rely on, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to focus fully on my health over the next few weeks. During that time, I am confident that Peter Thomas, the rest of our coaches, and our players will rise to the challenge and have a successful finish to the season.” .
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