John Altobelli

John Altobelli

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was resting comfortably at Hoag Hospital Thursday night after undergoing open heart surgery earlier to repair a weakened valve, said his brother, Tony Altobelli.

John Altobelli, 48, preparing for his 20th season at the helm after a program-record 453 victories and capturing the 2009 state championship, began experiencing shortness of breath last season. After many tests, the weak heart valve was determined to be the root of the problem.

The surgery, which was planned for optimal coordination with his teaching schedule at OCC, was deemed a success, said Tony Altobelli, who added that his brother was in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and was expected to remain hospitalized for at least three and four days.

John Altobelli, who played at Newport Harbor High and the University of Houston, is expected to make a complete recovery. It is hoped that he will be able to attend the Pirates' 2012 season opener, against Cuesta at home on Feb. 3.

— Barry Faulkner