by Bill DiFilippo

After his status for tonight’s game against Tennessee was up in the air, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery will be on the sidelines after spending the day with his family.

McCaffery’s son, Patrick, underwent surgery today to remove a thyroid tumor. According to McCaffery, his son is in good spirits after undergoing the procedure.

If there were any setbacks, McCaffery would have stayed in Iowa City with his family while one of his assistants coached the game. Fortunately, there were none.

Via ESPN:

“Today’s surgery for my son went as planned,” McCaffery said in a statement. “Doctors will continue tests in the coming days to determine further treatment.

“The outpouring of support and encouragement Patrick and our family have received this past week has been overwhelming; words cannot express how genuinely thankful we are to everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers.”

The coaching staff led the Hawkeyes (20-12) through their morning meeting and a light practice while McCaffery was in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes have one of the program’s biggest games of the last decade tonight, as the squad will take on Tennessee in a First Four matchup, with the winner going on to face UMass.