Orris on the mend

CdM athletic director might be released from Hoag this weekend after undergoing surgery for a brain aneurysm.

February 22, 2008|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

Paul Orris, Corona del Mar High’s athletic director, is recovering from brain aneurysm surgery at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, and Jeff Orris said Friday that his father might be released this weekend.

Orris, 60, visited the hospital Tuesday after experiencing dizziness, said Brent Ogden, a Corona del Mar alumnus and friend of Orris for almost 40 years.

Jeff said the non-emergency surgery, performed Wednesday morning, required cutting into his father’s skull at the right base of the neck to stop the blood flow into the aneurysm.


“Brain surgery is not a walk in the park,” Jeff said. “He’s doing much better.”

Orris’ condition is listed as good, Tiffany Lang, a hospital spokesperson, said Friday.

Orris, who has been at CdM for 38 years teaching math, serving as the boys’ varsity basketball coach from 1986 to 2001, and now athletic director since last year, said recently that he has one more year left before retiring.

Ogden said Orris, who coached teams to five CIF Southern Section title games, including two titles, is cognizant and has walked and talked after the surgery.

“His only complaints have been the strong headaches which doctors have said are normal after going through surgery to treat a brain aneurysm because of the blood flowing through the brain,” said Ogden, who added that Orris passed three neurological tests with flying colors.

“It was kind of hard to see the big fella lying down and not being his chipper self,” Ogden said. “I was expecting to see him at the [boys’ CIF Division III-A quarterfinal] basketball playoff game Tuesday night.

“His wife Betsy and I were joking that Paul would be at [CdM’s Division I] water polo championship game against Newport [Harbor tonight], saying, ‘You better tie him down because he might want to go.’ We agreed that we weren’t going to tell him about the game. He needs to rest.”

Jeff said there is no timetable as to when his father will resume his athletic director duties. The Sea Kings have two high-profile head coaching openings, football and girls’ volleyball, that Orris said recently he hoped the school would fill by March.

Now with Orris hospitalized and CdM Principal Fal Asrani out of the country dealing with a personal matter, the school most likely will push back the hiring dates for both jobs.

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