USU football: Utah State football coaching staff joining AFCA in Coach To Cure MD program

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 9:54 a.m. MDT

Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen and his staff will join with college football coaches across the country in support of the Coach to Cure MD program, which will be held during games on Saturday, Sept. 29. Now in its fifth year, the rapidlygrowing annual effort has raised more than a million dollars to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Football fans can donate to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research by either going online to www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word CURE to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill).

On September 29th, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members will wear a Coach To Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines, and college football fans will be asked to donate to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The Aggies are hosting UNLV on Saturday, and Rebels head coach Bobby Hauck and his staff will also be wearing the Coach to Cure MD patches.

Last year, more than 10,000 college coaches at 505 different institutions participated in Coach To Cure MD events. Both those figures are well higherthan in any of the program’s first three years (2008-10). The four-year fundraising total is just over $1 million.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood and primarily affects boys across all races and cultures. Boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and limited therapeutic options exist.

“The AFCA is proud of the fact that Coach To Cure MD has surpassed one million dollars in donations,” said Grant Teaff, executive director of the AFCA and legendary former coach at Baylor University. “Our coaches have only grown more enthusiastic for this cause in each of the last four years. We’re confident this season will once again set a record for participation on the field in September.”

Harvard head coach Tim Murphy said being a part of AFCA has been a rewarding experience.

“The AFCA now enters its fifth year of partnering with the Coach To Cure MD program and it has been rewarding to see first-hand the growth of this worthy cause,” said Murphy, who is the current president of the AFCA. “I don’t know many individuals and families left unscathed by difficulties in life and approximately 20,000 babies are born each year with this terrible disease, Duchenne. We happily partner in the effort to fund research and bring awareness and in doing so, celebrate the relationships forged with these brave young men.”

In addition to the coaches’ efforts, families affected with Duchenne muscular dystrophy will also gather for fund-raising tailgate parties on campuses around the country to encourage more fans to get involved.

"Coach To Cure MD has grown from the seed of an idea of an uncle determined to raise money for his nephew with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, into a national awareness campaign that has earned $1 million in its four years," said Pat Furlong, founding president and CEO of PPMD. “We are thrilled to partner with the AFCA once again. This year marks the five year anniversary of a partnership with coaches across the country, working together with our community to endDuchenne. We couldn’t ask for better teammates.”

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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