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14th annual Las Vegas Golf Classic hosts largest field

This year’s event raised over $1.4 million.

Longtime NCAA men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger (on the far right) may have announced his retirement from coaching in April, but he’s a long way from retiring when it comes to fighting cancer.  

Kruger and NCAA basketball coaches returned to the Las Vegas Strip May 16-18, 2021 for the 14th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic presented by Sanford Health to benefit the American Cancer Society. Welcoming its largest-ever field of golfers, this year’s event raised over $1.4 million. 

The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The Las Vegas Golf Classic – hosted by MGM Resorts – has become a signature event of the national program. 

Kruger – the chair of the national Coaches vs. Cancer Council – is the founder and chair of the Classic. “It’s important for our event to be a part of Las Vegas bouncing back from the impact of the pandemic,” said Kruger, who started the Classic during his time at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “The destination has been such an important part of the success of the Classic, which has made an impact for the American Cancer Society and fighting this nasty disease.”

Sanford Health entered its fifth year as the presenting sponsor of the event while MGM Resorts continued to serve as the host sponsor. “Sanford Health and MGM Resorts continue to make a large donation to the American Cancer Society possible each and every year,” Kruger said.

“Beating cancer and helping our patients live a better life isn’t a goal – it’s our mission,” said Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health. “It’s our privilege to take part in this event, and we thank Lon and all of the coaches for their time and commitment to fighting an opponent our team goes to battle with every day.”

NextGen Cattle Co. was the 2021 All-Star sponsor. Rounding out the team of generous supporters were Top of the World, The UPS Store, Nike, Wald Family Foods, Xs & Os of Success, and Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

Since its inception in 2008, the event has netted over $7.5 million. Since its founding in 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised more than $135 million to support the Society’s mission.

Coaches and participants played two days of golf at Shadow Creek, Southern Highlands or The Summit, as well as came together for a private gathering Sunday night at Park MGM.

Coaches and celebrities who joined Kruger for a mix of fun and fundraising during the three-day event included: 

  • Dana Altman, Oregon
  • Brad Underwood, Illinois
  • Kevin Kruger, UNLV
  • Fran McCaffery, Iowa
  • Greg McDermott, Creighton
  • Tubby Smith, High Point 
  • Roy Williams, North Carolina - retired (pictured on the far left)
  • Matt Painter, Purdue
  • Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska
  • Porter Moser, Oklahoma
  • Andy Enfield, USC 
  • Eric Musselman, Arkansas
  • Jerod Haase, Stanford
  • Eran Ganot, Hawaii
  • Bob Marlin, Louisiana
  • Eric Konkol, Louisiana Tech
  • Ron Cottrell, Houston Baptist
  • Johnny Tauer, St. Thomas
  • Bob Chipman, Washburn - retired
  • Jim Harrick, UCLA - retired
  • Rick Byrd, Belmont - retired
  • Gar Heard, NBA
  • Reggie Theus, NBA - retired
  • Chris Crutchfield, Oregon
  • Kevin McKenna, Oregon
  • Tim Buckley, UNLV
  • Brandon Chappell, UNLV
  • Carlin Hartman, UNLV
  • Doc Sadler, Nebraska
  • Jud Kinne, Houston Baptist
  • Dan McHale, New Mexico
  • Pete Herrmann, Young Harris – retired
  • Dave Pilipovich
  • Murry Bartow
  • Lindy La Rocque, UNLV WBB
  • Ron McHenry, Washburn WBB
  • Gene Taylor, Kansas State AD
  • Marco Born, Lamar AD
  • Greg Maddux, MLB - retired
  • Russ Ortiz, MLB - retired
  • Peter Jacobsen, PGA
  • JT the Brick, Radio Personality
  • Sean Farnham, ESPN
  • Eric Lautenbach, Nike

SMALL PHOTO: From left, Miesha Boyd, local Sam’s Club Manager in St. Louis and Jason McClelland, senior executive director – Missouri (in background).

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