April 8, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men’s basketball coach, Bo Ryan, is the recipient of the 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award, presented annually to a college coach who has been significantly engaged in the program’s fundraising, education and promotional initiatives and who has demonstrated leadership in supporting the American Cancer Society’s fight to save lives from cancer.
Since joining Coaches vs. Cancer in 2007, Coach Ryan has excelled on both local and national levels, raising over $1.5 million to support the Society. His team of coaches in Wisconsin transformed the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala from a small local fundraiser into one of the state’s premiere social events. The fundraiser brought in more than $420,000 in 2012, making it the largest Coaches vs. Cancer gala in the nation that year.
Ryan and his wife, Kelly, also issued a Charity Stripe Challenge at UW in 2012. Students were challenged to “Make Bo Pay” – the Ryan family pledged to make a $1 donation for every student who showed up, $10 for each free-throw made and $1,000 for each half-court shot sunk. The event was a success; the Ryan’s made a personal donation of $42,000 to the American Cancer Society through the Coaches vs. Cancer program.
Ryan, a member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council and a national spokesperson during the 2013 Suits And Sneakers weekend, received the Champion Award on April 6th, during the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council Meeting at the Final Four in Atlanta, Ga.
The Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award was instituted in 1996, with former University of Missouri coach Norm Stewart receiving the inaugural honor. Since that time, several head coaches have received the honor, including: Lon Kruger (Oklahoma); Jim Boeheim (Syracuse); Denny Crum (Louisville); Roy Williams (North Carolina); Riley Wallace (Hawaii); the Philly Six Coaches; Gary Williams (Maryland); Mark Few (Gonzaga); Mike Brey (Notre Dame); Bruce Weber (Illinois); Jim Calhoun (Connecticut); Tom Izzo (Michigan State); Oliver Purnell (DePaul).
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams and communities to join the fight against cancer. Since 1993 the initiative has raised more than $87 million dollars to support the Society’s mission to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and by fighting back against the disease.