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Pitt Basketball

Jeff Capel Opens Up About Milan Brown’s Recovery Following Cardiac Arrest



Back in early May 2022, Pitt associate head coach Milan Brown suffered cardiac arrest while in the Petersen Events Center, collapsing to the ground with nobody around.

According to a story by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Chris Carter, Brown was assisted by Terri Mitchell (Pitt women’s basketball assistant coach), Amy Anderson (associate athletic director), and Zach Brown (concert staff) almost immediately after falling to the ground and was soon transported to a local hospital where he would then recover.

Since that day, Brown has been coaching on the sidelines, recruiting, and doing just about everything he can for the Pitt men’s basketball program all season long. For head coach Jeff Capel, it has been a nerve-wracking experience at times, watching Brown give his job his all as he always has, even after the scare.

“I was afraid,” Capel said on Monday’s ACC Coaches Call. “There is still a little bit of that, to be completely honest with you, because you care about him. I wasn’t here when it happened, I was on a plane actually headed to ACC League meetings down in Florida. As I got up, I guess 20 minutes up in the air with WiFi connected, I started getting all of these texts from my wife. When I got back and went to go see him and seeing his recovery, yeah. there was a, ‘What are you doing here? Why are you at the office? When he started, where he was able to get back on the court. When he first started coming, he’d just come and watch, because we were doing workouts. Then, every now and then I’d see him just get up and be on the court, trying to tell guys stuff. I’d go, ‘Go sit down.’ So, there was a little bit of that. But as he has gone through the recovery process and handled everything and some of the changes that he has made, thank goodness he is fine.”

Pitt HC Jeff Capel and AC Milan Brown, from 2020.

Capel’s Panthers are in the midst of their best season in his tenure in Pittsburgh, sitting at 19-8 overall and 12-4 in ACC play, setting them up right near the top of the conference. Seven of Pitt’s 16 ACC games have been decided by three points or less, including the Panthers’ huge win over Miami that came down to the very last second. In the final minute of action against the Hurricanes, Pitt had one last stop that it had to make to come out with the win. While the energy was at its peak during that time, something alarming happened on the bench.

“The scariest one was when we played Miami here,” Capel said. “I think it was the Miami game. Late in the game, his [Brown’s] pacemaker went off. It was tight, and they were going to be running an out-of-bounds play. He got up, and the place was going crazy, and his pacemaker went off. He tells me, ‘Yeah. my pacemaker just went off,’ and I was like, ‘Go sit down. Go sit down, man. What in the world, go sit your butt down.’ It was maybe like four seconds left in the game. So, you worry about him, but I think he’s good. One thing I knew he said when his pacemaker went off, ‘At least we know it works.”

Capel and Brown will look to lead their Panthers to victory in Tuesday night’s game against Georgia Tech, which will tip off at 7 p.m. on ACC Network live from the Petersen Events Center, the same building in which Brown experienced his health scare less than one year ago.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 month ago

Now coach has a team full of players who passed the CPR course. Don’t know if I want a 20-something jumping up and down on my chest though.

Last edited 1 month ago by Pittband
1 month ago
Reply to  Pittband

If you aren’t breaking their ribs, you aren’t helping them!

1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

My emergency medicine brother-in-law would probably disagree with you. Was thrust into a similar situation a couple of years ago, guy not breathing. Apparently, I missed the part where you perform heart compression for one-minute and switch off. I did compression for 2+minutes and had to begged the guy’s friend to relieve me. Fortunately, Pittsburgh City Fire responded in 4- minutes from the first call or I would have been their second patient. Learn CPR.

Joe Schmo
Joe Schmo
1 month ago

Proud to be a friend of the stagehand Zach Brown who assisted in saving Mr. Brown. Thank God he was in the area when this unfortunate situation happened. H2P!!

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