Feb. 10, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
By MATTHEW WEITZEL
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Even with basketball season in full swing, University of Iowa men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery continues to help with cancer awareness and fundraising for cancer research.
Two weeks ago, McCaffery and other National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) participated in Coaches vs. Cancer's "Suits and Sneakers Cancer Awareness Weekend." McCaffery and his coaching staff, along with Northwestern's coaches, wore sneakers with their suits to raise cancer awareness.
McCaffery is also involved with Infiniti, ESPN, NABC and the NCAA in a one-of-a-kind charity competition -- the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge. Fan participation determines the ultimate winner over an eight-week period by registering and voting at ESPN.com/Infiniti. The tournament is divided into four rounds. The coaches with the most votes advance to the next round and earn more money for their charity.
The first round of the event has ended and thanks to your votes, McCaffery has advanced to round two, guaranteeing at least $7,500 for his charity, Coaches vs. Cancer. McCaffery is one of 24 coaches to advance to the second round, with the top 16 advancing to the third round. Should fans vote McCaffery into the third round, McCaffery and Coaches vs. Cancer would be guaranteed $10,000; $15,000 if advancing to the final round and $100,000 if he garners the most votes.
Again, fans can vote at ESPN.com/Infiniti each day and vote for McCaffery and his charity.
"The American Cancer Society and Coaches vs. Cancer is a cause that's close to Margaret and me because cancer has affected both of our families," said McCaffery.
McCaffery and his wife also host an annual, Coaches vs. Cancer, fundraiser in Iowa City in October before the season starts. Members of the coaching staff, former Iowa basketball and football players, season-ticket holders, UI boosters, and locals all joined together to help the McCafferys' in the fight against cancer.
The event the last two years has helped raise more than $130,000 combined. All proceeds from the event benefit the Hope Lodge and researchers at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"We're thrilled with the generosity people have shown and the support that we've received for this," Margaret said prior to the event in October. "Unfortunately, cancer touches so many people, so when you mention the word, you can get a lot of people and spark their interest. If you ask me, it's more important that we are able to do something like this than the wins and losses and all that kind of stuff."
McCaffery's active involvement in cancer research fundraising will continue this summer when the fourth-year Iowa head coach teams with ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale and Iowa State head men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg in The 380 Companies & Dick Vitale Golf and Gala, hosted June 20-21, at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort.
For more information on how you can donate to the V Foundation or be involved in this event, visit The380Foundation.com or contact Tammy Hasler at (319) 297-7828.