April 3, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma head men's basketball coach Lon Kruger has been named the recipient of the 2012 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.
Kruger has been a member of the Coaches vs. Cancer council since 2007 and his extraordinary efforts to support the program have led to this recognition. He is the driving force coordinating the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic, an annual event that has raised more than $750,000 since launching in 2008. In 2009, Kruger received the Legacy and Leadership Visionary Award from the American Cancer Society Las Vegas region for his dedication to Coaches vs. Cancer. In addition, Kruger has raised more than $30,000 for an American Cancer Society program providing free summer camp access to children with cancer and their siblings.
The Champion Award was presented to Kruger during this past weekend's Final Four in New Orleans, La.
"All families have been touched by cancer in some way," said Kruger, who is starting his second year at OU. "Many college coaches are doing their part to fight this terrible disease and I am proud to be a member of the Coaches vs. Cancer team."
The Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award was instituted in 1996, with former Missouri coach Norm Stewart receiving the inaugural citation. Since that time, several head coaches have received the honor, including: 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) and Oliver Purnell (DePaul).
Coaches vs. Cancer 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 $80 million dollars to fund groundbreaking research, provide up-to-date cancer literacy, advocate for public health policies and deliver services to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.