Brandon dedicated to giving back

 

Michigan held its 14th annual Women’s Football Academy over the weekend, with proceeds going to the patient and family support services program of the University Comprehensive Cancer Center. With approximately $144,000 raised for charity, Michigan athletic director David Brandon spoke on the importance and significance of the event. See exclusive quotes from Brandon:

On the Women’s Football Academy:

“This is the 14th year as I understand it, so this has been going on for a long time. I understand we’re raising more money this year than ever before, which is great. You always want to get better. This is a terrific opportunity for us to take who we are and what we do with athletics and put it to good use to raise money for cancer. We do it every year and certainly the participants seem to be enjoying themselves. I know the coaches enjoy it. And all the spouses and family members that showed up to see their moms, sisters and friends down here on the field – it’s a pretty neat event.”

On using athletics to make a positive impact in the community:

“One of the things that we really push hard with our student athletes is community service. We actually track it. We measure it. We set up little competitions. We recognize and reward those who do the best job. So it would be rather strange if we were preaching that to our student athletes and we weren’t doing it ourselves.

“So these kinds of events – whether it was the Griese-Hutchinson-Woodson golf outing, which helped with Mott, last week the coaches put on kind of a fantasy football experience which raised money for prostate cancer, this week it’s the Comprehensive Cancer Center – these are all ways for us to lead by example. To show that the coaches, the administration, all of us want to make sure we’re doing the same things we’re telling our young student athletes to do.”

On the response to the event from the players:

“They love it. They love it because they create new friendships. They create new fans. It’s fun to show up today and have people so be so curious and so interested in what they do, and so impressed with how they do it. So I know that talking with the kids, they really enjoy this opportunity to be out here with all these wonderful, highly enthusiastic women.”

On the opportunity for people to get to know the players:

“The more we can get fans, wherever they may be, to connect with our football program and Michigan athletics the better. Because these are people that buy tickets, sit up in the stands and support us in a lot of other ways. So any chance we have for them to connect with our student athletes, with our coaches, get a better sense of what we do here, we think that’s only going to be a good thing.”

On the growing level of participation:

“Last year it seemed like a good crowd and this is like double. This is classic Brady Hoke. He likes to do things big. He got intimately involved in how this was planned and he wanted to really make this a big event in terms of number of participants. He certainly successfully achieved that.”

On the dedication of the coaching staff:

“One of the things I want to make sure everybody understands is, these football coaches – all of our coaches, but certainly these football coaches – they’re some of the busiest people on the planet. They go from season to recruiting, spring ball, they are constantly on the road and constantly working. They work some of the longest hours of anybody I’ve ever been around. So when they give up days of their off time to come in and do this, it is really, really special. We should never forget that. Because we can’t do this unless Brady and his entire staff come together and dedicate the time and go through the effort to make it special. So I really appreciate that.

“I’m a cancer survivor. I was treated at the Cancer Center at Michigan many years ago. I know how great this cause is and how important it is. So for those coaches to give of themselves, for the players to be here, and to create this opportunity and raise lots of money, it’s personal with me. I really appreciate it.”

On the feedback he has received from other cancer survivors about this event:

“All of us who have taken advantage of the doctors, nurses, staff, researchers over at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, all of us are incredibly appreciative when anybody digs into their pocket and voluntarily gives in an effort to help. Because that’s kind of what keeps us at the forefront of all the things we can do to detect and treat, and hopefully someday cure cancer. So it’s special.”

If you would like to give to the cause, please click here for the event donation form.

 

 
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