Golden Eagles participate Saturday night in Coaches vs. Cancer program

Golden Eagles participate Saturday night in Coaches vs. Cancer program

Former Golden Eagle Jimmy Eliott currently battling cancer

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech basketball coach Mike Sutton and his staff will dress a little differently Saturday night when the Golden Eagles host Southeast Missouri in Eblen Center.
As part of the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend, Tennessee Tech is also inviting fans to wear sneakers to the games against the Redhawks.

Sutton and his coaching staff will wear sneakers with his suit when he’s on the sidelines for Tech’s 7:30 p.m. game against the SEMO.

The Coaches vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers weekend is a collaborative initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Participating NABC member coaches will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays

The coaches also hope to draw attention to the fact that, while cancer remains a major health concern, there are steps we can all take each day to reduce our risk.

“We do this every year in an effort to help make people aware of the challenges that so many people face, both cancer patients and their families,” Sutton said. “This event is an opportunity to lend our names to a very worthy cause."

For those who do not smoke, weight control, exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to improve health and reduce cancer risk. Obesity has been shown to increase the risk for many forms of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancers and may account for 20 percent of cancer deaths in women and 14 percent in men.

However, according to a 2006 survey, only eight percent of people understand that excess weight is so strongly linked to cancer risk, while more than 80 percent know of the link between overweight and heart disease. Overweight and obesity are of particular concern in minority populations, with higher rates of both reported for Hispanic men and women and for African American women, than for non-Hispanic white adults.

Coming up on Feb. 11, Tech will also host a “Think Pink” event, sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, to increase breast cancer awareness. That event will take place at the doubleheader against Murray State, on Thursday, Feb. 11.

Former Golden Eagle guard Jimmy Elliott (1982-85) is currerntly battling cancer,
and is writing a blog about his fight with the disease. Read Elliott's blog at:

“I’d like for our community to understand how much we appreciate their willingness to assist, not only in the fight against cancer, but all of the charitable endeavors that occur in our community,” Sutton said. “This compassion is just one of the things that make Cookeville and Putnam County such a great place to live.”

“I hope this event will help encourage people to continue to show that support, to be involved, and to take an active part,” he said.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of college and high school coaches and fans across the country, Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised more than $55 million since 1993 to help the Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for public health policies that benefit communities, and deliver services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Additional information is available at

Participating coaches have raised awareness at their schools, in their communities and nationwide by emphasizing how cancer has touched them personally.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States.

Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader are available at the athletic ticket office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940 or order online at

To learn more about the American Cancer Society or to get help, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit