LC’s Rooney survives health scare, set to return to team Thursday

LC’s Rooney survives health scare, set to return to team Thursday

GODFREY — Prior to last week, Tim Rooney’s main focus was on his team’s next game, a Sept. 25 home game against Wabash Valley College. But a health scare changed his priorities quickly over the weekend when he was hospitalized with a kidney ailment caused by a reaction to ibuprofen.

“A knee was swollen and hurting, so I was taking ibuprofen for it,” said Rooney, the women’s soccer coach at Lewis and Clark Community College. “That led to kidney problems.”

Rooney was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis Friday and remained there until being released on Monday. Rooney said he plans to return to work coaching the Trailblazers on Thursday.

“I’m feeling better,” Rooney said. “I was surprised when they told me what was wrong, but I’m glad it got taken care of.

“This has been a pretty weird year,” said Rooney, referring to the 2021 spring season played when the NJCAA moved the sport’s schedule from last fall because of the pandemic. “This caught me by surprise, that’s for sure.”

Rooney’s women’s team last played Sept. 21 at Southwest Tennessee College in Memphis, a 5-0 Trailblazers victory.

During last week, Rooney began feeling ill, which ultimately led to his hospitalization

During Rooney’s time away from the team, practices have been handled by assistant coaches Ryan Hodge and Taylor Hansen. Hodge is also the head coach of the LCCC men’s soccer team.

Rooney, who underwent heart bypass surgery in 2007, coached the LCCC women to the 1999 and 2008 NJCAA championships. he was named the NJCAA National Coach of the Year in each of those seasons.

Rooney has led the LCCC women’s soccer team to a pair of national championships and numerous NJCAA Division I National tournament appearances.

Rooney is all-time winningest JUCO women’s soccer coach. He started the women’s program in 1993 and first came to LCCC in 1986 as the men’s head soccer coach. He coached both the women’s and men’s soccer teams until stepping down as men’s coach in 2017.

This season’s LCCC women are 3-2 on the season and head into Saturday’s game against Region 24 opponent Wabash Valley on the heels of back-to-back 5-0 victories. Prior to their win in Tennessee, the Trailblazers defeated Jefferson College 5-0 on Sept. 12.

“I think the players are all healthy now,” Rooney said. “Now, it looks like I’ll be OK too.”

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