Coaches VS. Cancer


(NEWS10) – In its 15th year in the Capital Region, Coaches vs. Cancer is more committed to the fight against cancer than ever, despite increasing challenges that have surfaced during the global COVID-19 pandemic.   The American Cancer Society estimates a 50% loss of funds for cancer research in 2020. 

Their life-saving mission is in jeopardy.  So the ACS is asking the Capital Region to rally in support of their efforts, which have touched the lives of so many local cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

Colin Clive is this year’s recipient of the Mary Ann Raymond Donnelly Fighting Spirit Award. As the former Siena lacrosse player faces the fight of his life, his journey took a tragic turn. Find out how his friends, former teammates, and the community has rallied in support.

Ali Jaques and her husband Marc Rybczyk are this year’s recipient’s of the Inspiration Award. The Siena women’s basketball head coach refused to let her husband die. He was given two months to live. He’s been cancer-free for two years. How the couple came together to battle the disease.

Peter Hooley’s game-winning shot in the 2015 America East championship game was the first time his late mother Sue touched his life, but it wouldn’t be the last. Watch the video to find out how the former UAlbany basketball player processed losing his ‘mum’.

It takes courage to fight cancer. It takes even more to live with a cancer diagnosis that is incurable. Stan Watroba drew inspiration from his son Joe’s battle, and made the most of the time he had left.

Will Brown helped launch Coaches vs. Cancer in the Capital Region 15 years ago. Since then, the program has raised more than $2.5 million. He was recognized nationally last year with the highest Coaches vs. Cancer award given to a coach, but says somebody else should have received it. The story is above.

Despite battling cancer himself, Matt Shell called his son Jacob’s cancer diagnosis a “game changer.” After beating the disease, the family is committed to giving back with the ShellStrong Foundation.

Fran McCaffery brought the Siena men’s basketball program to new heights, helping to launch the local chapter of Coaches vs. Cancer in the process. Once he left to take a head coaching job at Iowa, cancer hit close to home.

The ‘Founding Fathers’ (Ken Raymond, Bob Curley, and John Murray) reflect on the last 15 years of Coaches vs. Cancer in the Capital Region.


The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the NABC. This initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.

Since 1993, coaches have raised over $128 million for the American Cancer Society. Here in the Capital Region, we are celebrating our 15th year of hosting the Coaches vs Cancer Basket “Ball” in collaboration with the University at Albany & Siena College Men’s Basketball Coaches.  Over the 15 years, we have raised over $2 million dollars. 

Event is co-hosted by the head coaches & wives at both schools each year and is co-presented by SEFCU & Prime Companies


Due to COVID-19, the way we fuel our fight has drastically changed and the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives is at risk. The need for funding is greater because now cancer patients are more vulnerable than ever. Funding groundbreaking research and providing access to care, like rides to treatment and free lodging for cancer patients, are at risk. Patients, caregivers and families are counting on us to fight this disease no matter what the circumstances. Cancer never stops and neither do we. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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