When you can get 25 coaches together, and there is no basketball or football championship being played, you must be doing something right. In its 7th year, the Coaches vs. Cancer event in Las Vegas has grown from a ballroom at the Palms to take over the entire Producers Pool area at the MGM Grand.
The two-night event was held Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19 on the heels of the Dave Rice Foundation Gala held at the MGM Grand Saturday, May 17, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Former UNLV coach Lon Kruger hosted the Coaches vs. Cancer event and Nebraska coach, Tim Miles, who has been a fixture at this annual gathering since his days at Colorado State, introduced Sunday evening’s entertainment, Larry the Cable Guy. Sports radio host JT The Brick served as the night’s emcee.
Some of the coaches in attendance Sunday night were Dave Rice, UNC’s Roy Williams, South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak, Oregon’s Dana Altman, New Mexico’s Craig Neal and Kansas State’s Bruce Weber. I also saw UNLV assistant coaches Todd Simon and Ryan Miller and Oklahoma assistants Lew Hill and Steve Henson and graduate assistant (and Lon’s son) Kevin Kruger. A few former UNLV players, Curtis Terry and Scott Hoffman, were in attendance, as were Coach Rice’s wife, Mindy, and the voice of the Rebels, Jon Sandler. It was awesome seeing them.
The coaches from UNLV, Utah and Oklahoma announced the details of the MGM Showcase benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer in December. UNLV will be matched up with Utah and Oklahoma will take on Washington. I can’t wait to attend that!
Toby Keith performed for the attendees on Monday night. There was a ton of food and drinks available for the guests, and entertainment including some synchronized swimmers and a DJ. It wasn’t exactly Wet Republic on a Sunday afternoon, but everyone knew they were supporting a good cause. There were also auction items to bid on and donations being accepted.
The entire event did involve one sport: golf. Attendees had the opportunity to play at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands on Monday and Tuesday.
D.J. Allen, founder of the Xs & Os of Success, served as the producer of the 2014 Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.
Cancer sucks. Personally, I lost my stepdad to pancreatic cancer March 2012 and previously my aunt to colon and ovarian cancer, so I have felt it in my own world. While I was at the event, I got a message telling me a close close friend of mine had lost his cousin to brain cancer. It made it seem all the more important to be there. I know cancer probably has touched all of you at some point. I was very blessed to be invited to this event and to have the opportunity to make you all aware of it so that next year you can get involved and help with a worthy cause. If you can donate, please click here.
The pictures didn’t come out too great — it was windy and the lighting was weird around the pool — but I hope you enjoy them anyway!