BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – The Bloomingdale High School’s volleyball team is headed to the state championship months after their coach had open heart surgery.
“The motto since districts is heart of a champion,” said Coach Tim Rovnanik.
Coach Tim teaches his 15 players to overcome adversity.
“When we started winning, I had girls come up to me and give me big hugs and we’re all crying and they were like this is for you,” he said.
In April, Coach Tim woke up one night and knew something was wrong. He was rushed to the emergency room at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital.
An angiogram of his arteries shows the damage from when he had his first heart attack at the age of 36, on top of congestive heart failure. Doctors told him he needed to undergo quadruple bypass surgery.
“He’s in the bed, I was like, ‘Coach Tim what are you doing here,’” said Brandy Provencher, Director of Cardiovascular Services.
Provencher was doing rounds when she recognized the coach.
“He actually coached my daughter last year,” she said.
Coach Tim knew he was in good hands. Days after surgery, he returned home. With the will to never give up, he’s now back courtside doing what he loves most.
“My thing was I don’t want to miss these girls,” he said. “I want to be here and no matter what the situation was. I was going to get back here.”
It’s Coach Tim’s 11th season, and his team is going to the state championships on Wednesday. It’s the first time the school has been to states since 1994.
“It’s incredible that it happened this year and I look at it there’s got to be a reason I went through this and I’m here and here we are going to states no matter what happens tomorrow it’s been incredible,” he said.
The girl’s volleyball team is playing St. Thomas Aquinas in Polk County on Wednesday.