Valparaiso University women’s basketball head coach Tracey Dorow will undergo neck surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 11, necessitating a medical leave of absence from the team.
Dorow was recently encouraged by doctors to undergo immediate surgery.
“I’m not going to be any good for our team or my family if I don’t take care of it now,” Dorow said.
Valpo assistant coach Justin Rees will coach the team in Dorow’s absence, starting with the game at Cleveland State on Thursday, Jan. 12. Rees is in his third season on Valpo’s staff and his 18th in women’s college basketball. During his career, the veteran coach has developed three All-Americans and 32 all-conference award winners. Valpo’s coaching staff also features veteran Division-I assistant John Motherwell and former WNBA player Megan Leuzinger.
“No person is any bigger than the program,” Dorow said. “I’m very confident in my staff and the players.”
Dorow is in her fifth season in charge of the Valparaiso women’s basketball program. Prior to arriving at Valpo, she spent 14 seasons as the head coach at Ferris State University, where she guided the Bulldogs to four NCAA Division-II Tournament appearances. Valpo matched its highest nonleague win total since joining the Horizon League with five nonleague victories this year. The Crusaders currently stand at 5-10, 0-4 in Horizon League play.
Dorow is expected to miss several games, and once a return date is set, Valparaiso University Athletics will provide an update.
“Everybody trusts Coach Rees, and he’s very serious about running the program the right way,” Dorow said. “Our staff is going to surround Coach Rees and help him do the job very well in my absence.”