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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Brey excels in his Coaches vs. Cancer efforts

Pat Leonard | Monday, October 10, 2005

Like Delaware, like Notre Dame.

Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey is maintaining his level of fundraising excellence for the Coaches vs. Cancer (CVC) Program that he did when he coached the Blue Hens.

Behind the efforts of Brey and his wife, Tish, the University ranks fifth among universities and colleges across the country in money raised for the CVC and the American Cancer Society.

Notre Dame earned the ranking by raising $216,010 in 2004-05, a $47,000 jump from the previous year’s sum.

“Certainly, my wife Tish has been a big driving force behind it,” Brey said Saturday at the Notre Dame Basketball Coaches Clinic. “But both at Delaware and at Notre Dame, we’ve had two communities that have completely embraced the program. The Michiana community really has embraced it.”

Brey helped make Delaware one of the top CVC fundraising schools in the country as head coach in Newark, Del., as well.

Since 2002, Brey and his wife have raised more than $630,000 total for the Michiana community’s fight against cancer. Brey believes it is his responsibility.

“The one thing about this disease, it’s touched everybody,” Brey said. “If not directly, you know somebody in the family that’s close that this dreaded thing has touched …

I think if you have a position where your profile’s high and you can make a difference, you want to use it to your advantage.”

Brey was the recipient of the 2003 CVC Champion Award, presented annually by the CVC National Council and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He has been a national board member of the Council since February 2003.

“I think once we kind of got it rolling, people saw it from the outside – business leaders, University people – that now we’ve developed another arm to it every year,” Brey said.

Brey cited contacts at Martin’s supermarkets and at local television station WSBT for continued support, as well as the advice and experience of University Provost Thomas Burish, who is the chairman of the American Cancer Society’s national board of directors.

The Philly 6, a collection of area Philadelphia colleges and universities, leads the rankings with $605,118 raised for 2004-05. Syracuse is second with $414,201.00, followed by Connecticut ($397,745) and Gonzaga ($387.960).

After Notre Dame, the next closest university is Illinois, with $116,774.