SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is taking a leave of absence from his job as San Diego State's baseball coach as he recovers from undisclosed health issues.
The school didn't set a timetable for his return while announcing the leave Tuesday. The school is not commenting on Gwynn's medical condition, at his request. Gwynn has had two operations for cancer in his right cheek since August 2010. In a complicated surgery in February 2012, surgeons removed a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumor inside his right cheek. They grafted a nerve from Gwynn's neck to help him eventually regain facial movement.
Assistant coaches Mark Martinez and John Pawlowski are leading the team in Gwynn's absence. "I'm on the mend and looking forward to getting back to the team," Gwynn said in a statement released by the school. "The team is playing well and I want to thank Mark and John for their efforts that have helped lead to the squad's current successful season."
The Aztecs were 28-12 heading into Tuesday night's game against Cal State Northridge at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Gwynn played 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres, finishing with a .338 average, 3,141 hits and eight NL batting titles.