Coaches vs. Cancer event gets assist from Sanford Health

NCAA basketball coaching greats meet on a Las Vegas golf course May 20-22 for the 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic presented by Sanford Health.

By: Paul Heinert .

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LAS VEGAS –- NCAA basketball coaching luminaries will trade hardwood courts for velvet greens May 20-22 for the American Cancer Society’s 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic presented by Sanford Health. Last year’s event produced a donation to the American Cancer Society of more than $1 million, and the tournament is on track to better that in 2018.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Coaches vs. Cancer program, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The Las Vegas Golf Classic has become a signature event of the national program.

Lon Kruger, head coach of Oklahoma, is the founder and chair of the Classic. “The event continues to grow because of the many coaches, sponsors and participants who are so engaged in this project,” said Kruger, who started the Classic during his time at UNLV.

Sanford Health joined the team last year as the presenting sponsor and is once again leading the way in 2018. “Defeating cancer takes a team, and we are proud to continue our support for this event that brings together such great people who are committed to helping find a cure,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health.

Coaches and participants will play two days of golf at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands (Monday and Tuesday –- foursomes on both courses each day) as well as come together for private parties Sunday night (at MGM Grand) and Monday night (at Topgolf Las Vegas).

Coaches and celebrities scheduled to join Kruger for a mix of fun and fundraising during the three-day event are:

  • Dana Altman, Oregon
  • Roy Williams, North Carolina
  • Frank Martin, South Carolina
  • Tim Miles, Nebraska
  • Fran McCaffery, Iowa
  • Matt Painter, Purdue
  • Sean Miller, Arizona
  • Brad Underwood, Illinois
  • Marvin Menzies, UNLV
  • Greg McDermott, Creighton
  • Dave Pilipovich, Air Force
  • Jud Kinne, Houston Baptist
  • Jack Murphy, NAU
  • Bob Chipman, Washburn – retired
  • Jim Harrick, UCLA – retired
  • George Karl, NBA
  • Gar Heard, NBA
  • Craig Neal, NBA/Former New Mexico coach
  • Kevin O’Connor, Former NBA exec
  • Bobby Jack Wright, Oklahoma – retired
  • Chris Crutchfield, Oklahoma
  • Carlin Hartman, Oklahoma
  • Kevin McKenna, Oregon
  • Kevin Kruger, Oklahoma
  • Ron McHenry, Washburn
  • Joe Holladay, North Carolina – retired
  • Jim Livengood, Hall of Fame AD
  • JT the Brick, FOX Sports Radio
  • Sean Farnham, ESPN
  • Eric Lautenbach, Nike

“The Coaches vs. Cancer event is something we look forward to hosting each year,” said Scott Sibella, president and COO of MGM Grand.  “MGM Resorts is known throughout the world for offering premier entertainment and sports options. This is a terrific opportunity to use those elements and team with coaches throughout the nation to help raise dollars to fight cancer.”

The 2018 Golf Classic is hosted by MGM Grand and Topgolf Las Vegas. NextGen Cattle Co. is the 2018 All-Star Sponsor. Rounding out the team of generous supporters are Top of the World, The UPS Store, Nike, UPS, Xs & Os of Success, Tilted Kilt and Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

During its first 10 years, the event netted over $3.6 million in support of American Cancer Society programs including prevention, early detection and research; free local patient and caregiver services including transportation, lodging, wigs and head coverings; a patient navigator at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas; and cancer-related guidance available 24/7 at 800-227-2345 and

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