Coaches vs. Cancer evolved from a concept championed by Norm Stewart, former head coach of the University of Missouri's men's basketball program, cancer survivor, and member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He started the program by challenging fans to pledge a dollar amount for every three points made by his team during the season.
The American Cancer Society and the NABC adopted that concept in 1993 and transformed it into a nationwide effort to unite coaches across the country in the common mission to provide help and hope to all people facing cancer. Today, more than 500 Division I, II, and III college coaches are involved in the program. Coaches vs. Cancer has raised nearly $40 million since its inception to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease. Additionally, more than 100 high school coaches also participate in the program.
In 1998, the Coaches vs. Cancer Council was formed—a distinguished group of NABC member basketball coaches, American Cancer Society volunteers, and business leaders from across the country - to explore new and innovative ways to raise funds, recruit prominent coaches, enhance the program, and send the powerful message that we can win the fight against cancer.