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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2008

Coaches vs. Cancer slated for Inverness

FROM BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES
Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun is a survivor of prostate cancer who also has had skin cancer. Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun is a survivor of prostate cancer who also has had skin cancer.
JESSICA HILL / AP Enlarge

The American Cancer Society will host the ninth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational tomorrow and Monday at the Inverness Club.

NCAA Division I college basketball and football coaches from across the nation will compete in support of the fight against cancer.

Coaches vs. Cancer, which began in 1993 in collaboration with National Association of Basketball Coaches, focuses on year-round educational efforts and fund-raising activities in support of the American Cancer Society's mission to eliminate cancer.

Among coaches playing are Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, who led the Orangemen to the 1993 NCAA Championship; Connecticut's Jim Calhoun (1999 and 2004 NCAA champions); Maryland's Gary Williams (2002 NCAA champion); Minnesota's Tubby Smith (1998 NCAA champion while at Kentucky); Mark Gottfried (Alabama); Jay Wright (Villanova); Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph's); and Bobby Cremins (College of Charleston). University of Toledo men's coach Gene Cross and women's coach Tricia Cullop and Bowling Green State University men's coach Louis Orr also are scheduled to participate.

Among prominent football coaches scheduled to play are Tommy Tuberville (Auburn); Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech); and Jim Grobe (Wake Forest).

"Coaches vs. Cancer has allowed me the opportunity to give back, and anything I can do to help raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society, I will do," Williams said. " I have participated in the Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational every year, because we get to play on great courses, with great people, for a great cause."

Calhoun received the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award at the NABC Award Show during the 2008 Final Four in San Antonio. A prostate cancer survivor, he garnered the program's highest honor for his dedication and devotion to the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer.

Calhoun is being treated for a second bout of skin cancer but expects to be on the bench this fall for his 22nd season with the Huskies.

His physician, Dr. Jeffrey Spiro, said he believes the coach is now cancer free and has a good prognosis.

Calhoun is to undergo six weeks of radiation treatments next month at the UConn Health Center to minimize any chance of the cancer returning. His doctors told him there will be short-term side effects from the radiation, but they expect Calhoun to return to his normal lifestyle.

"I have one more step to go," Calhoun said. "I feel much, much better, thank God."

Calhoun said doctors determined last month that a lump in the upper right side of his neck near the jaw line was squamous cell cancer. He had surgery May 6 to remove the lump, several surrounding lymph nodes and part of his salivary gland. Subsequent tests revealed all the cancer had been removed.

Calhoun was first treated for squamous cell cancer last year when doctors found it on his cheek.

Doctors told him the recurrence this spring is related to his prior skin cancer but not related to the prostate cancer he was treated for in 2003.



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