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Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan Receives the 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer® Champion Award
Coach Ryan has helped raise more than $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society since 2007
University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach, Bo Ryan, participating in Suits And Sneakers weekend. (Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin athletics)

ATLANTA – April 5, 2013 – University of 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 the University of Wisconsin 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, will receive the Champion Award on April 6th, during the National Coaches vs. Cancer Council Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, host city for the 2013 NCAA Final Four men’s basketball championship.

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.

Visit coachesvscancer.org to learn more about events on the horizon for 2013, including:

• Las Vegas Golf Classic (May 19-21): at the Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands courses in Las Vegas, Nevada
• Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational (June 9-10): at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland
• Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (November 22-23): at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks to our progress, nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.