Kruger Earns Coaches v. Cancer Champion Award

NORMAN, Okla. — Each year a college coach is presented the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award for being significantly engaged in the program's fundraising, education and promotional initiatives and demonstrating leadership in supporting the American Cancer Society's fight to save lives from cancer, and this year's recipient is OU head coach Lon Kruger.

The Champion Award was presented to Kruger during the Final Four this past weekend in New Orleans, La.

"All families have been touched by cancer in some way," said Kruger, who just completed his first 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."

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 a leader in coordinating the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic, an annual event which has raised more than $750,000 since launching in 2008.

Kruger received the Legacy and Leadership Visionary Award from the American Cancer Society Las Vegas region back in 2009 for his dedication to Coaches vs. Cancer.

Additionally, he has earned more than $30,000 for an American Cancer Society program providing free summer camp access to children with cancer and their siblings.

The Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award was instituted in 1996, and former Missouri coach Norm Stewart received the inaugural citation.

Several head coaches have received it since then, including the following: 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.

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