INFINITI is once again sponsoring the "INFINITI Coaches' Charity Challenge" as part of its partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the NCAA® and ESPN. Now in its seventh year, the program consists of 48 NCAA® Division I men's basketball coaches competing for fan votes in a four-round contest that raises money for charities of the coaches' choice.
INFINITI, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, will make donations throughout the competition totaling $349,000. The further the coaches advance in the competition, the more money is raised for their respective charities. The winning coach will receive $100,000 to benefit his charity of choice.
"INFINITI continuously looks forward to partnering with the NABC, NCAA® and ESPN to raise money for many deserving charities with the INFINITI Coaches' Charity Challenge," said Allyson Witherspoon, director of marketing communications and media, INFINITI USA. "Going into the seventh year of the competition, we're eager to help facilitate this friendly competition as coaches raise money for their local charities of choice."
Beginning January 2, fans are deciding the winner over a 10-week period by casting votes on a custom online microsite at www.espn.com/INFINITI. Voters can cast one vote per day for a coach's charity.
The first round of voting took place January 2 and runs through January 22, with half of the coaches advancing to a second round, held between January 23 and February 12. From February 13 to 26, the 16 advancing coaches from round two will compete in a third round where only four coaches advance to the final, fourth round. From February 27 to March 12, fans can vote for one coach per day; the coach with the most votes, along with the chosen charity, will be announced on March 12, 2017.
"Since its inception, the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and raised awareness for a wide variety of charitable organizations," said Jim Haney, NABC executive director.
"The competition that our outstanding college coaches and fans enjoy on the court has been carried over to the Challenge, where everyone wins."
Among this year's group of participating 48 coaches are:
University of Arizona coach Sean Miller, competing for Casa de los Niños
Arizona State University coach Bobby Hurley, competing for Pat Tillman Foundation
Auburn University coach Bruce Pearl, competing for Children's Harbor, Inc.
Baylor University coach Scott Drew, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
BYU coach Dave Rose, competing for BYU Simmons Center for Cancer Research
Clemson University coach Brad Brownell, competing for The Outdoor Dream Foundation
University of Colorado coach Tad Boyle, competing for Special Olympics Colorado
University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, competing for Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Creighton University coach Greg McDermott, competing for Abide
University of Dayton coach Archie Miller, competing for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton
Georgetown University coach John Thompson III, competing for SOME (So Others Might Eat)
Georgia State University coach Ron Hunter, competing for Samaritan's Feet International
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner, competing for WellStar Foundation
Gonzaga University coach Mark Few, competing for Community Cancer Fund
University of Indiana coach Tom Crean, competing for Tatum's Bags of Fun
University of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
Iowa State University coach Steve Prohm, competing for Lupus Foundation of America, Iowa Chapter
Kansas State University coach Bruce Weber, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
Marquette University coach Steve Wojciechowski, competing for Camp Hometown Heroes
University of Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, competing for Alzheimer's Association
University of Memphis coach Tubby Smith, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
University of Michigan coach John Beilein, competing for The ChadTough Foundation
Michigan State University coach Tom Izzo, competing for Volunteers of America Michigan
University of North Carolina coach Roy Williams, competing for UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
North Carolina State University coach Mark Gottfried, competing for Team Focus
University of Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
Ohio State University coach Thad Matta, competing for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio
University of Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
Oklahoma State University coach Brad Underwood, competing for Stillwater Area United Way, Inc.
University of Oregon coach Dana Altman, competing for Children's Miracle Network (CMN)
Purdue University coach Matt Painter, competing for Smith Family BReaK Thru Fund
San Diego State University coach Steve Fisher, competing for The ALS Association, Greater San Diego Chapter
St. John's University coach Chris Mullin, competing for The Herren Project
St. Louis University coach Travis Ford, competing for Annie Malone Children & Family Services
Stanford University coach Jerod Haase, competing for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
Stephen F. Austin State University coach Kyle Keller, competing for Nacogdoches Area United Way
Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim, competing for Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation
Texas Christian University coach Jamie Dixon, competing for Maggie Dixon Foundation
Temple University coach Fran Dunphy, competing for Big Brothers Big Sister Independence
University of Tennessee coach Rick Barnes, competing for Emerald Youth Foundation
UCLA coach Steve Alford, competing for Special Olympics Southern California
Vanderbilt University coach Bryce Drew, competing for Coaches vs. Cancer
Villanova University coach Jay Wright, competing for Augustinian Fund
University of Virginia coach Tony Bennett, competing for Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Wake Forest University coach Danny Manning, competing for Brenner Children's Hospital
University of West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, competing for Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment Fund
Wichita State University coach Gregg Marshall, competing for Wichita Children's Home
University of Wisconsin coach Greg Gard, competing for Garding Against Cancer
While only one coach will win the grand prize, INFINITI has guaranteed each coach a donation of at least $1,000 to his chosen charitable organization.
"The INFINITI Coaches Charity Challenge is an excellent program that allows fans and coaches the opportunity to help charities and give back to deserving communities," said Jeff Jarnecke, NCAA director of championships and alliances. "We're proud to work with INFINITI and the NABC on this great program and look forward to seeing this fun competition that positively impacts so many individuals."
ESPN will promote the INFINITI Coaches' Charity Challenge across many different platforms including ESPN broadcast, ESPN.com and several social media platforms.