Bulldog Staff To Support "Coach To Cure MD"

FSU head coach Jeff Pierce and his staff will help support the "Coach to Cure MD" cause
FSU head coach Jeff Pierce and his staff will help support the "Coach to Cure MD" cause

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football coaching staff will join an important national cause once again by helping support "Coach to Cure MD" during this Saturday's (Sept. 25) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home contest versus Tiffin at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (EDT).

The entire Bulldog coaching staff, including head coach Jeff Pierce, will join thousands of others from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) by wearing "Coach to Cure" MD arm patches for the game. 

"Coach to Cure MD", a national charity project of the AFCA, helps bring coaches nationwide together from all levels of collegiate football to raise awareness and research funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most prolific genetic killer diagnosed in childhood.  This year marks the third year of the nationwide program.

"Coach to Cure MD" is a tremendous cause for the sport of college football," said Grant Teaff, executive director of the AFCA and legendary former coach at Baylor University. "The coaches' support during the last two seasons has been outstanding, and we aim for even more success this year. The AFCA is proud to be involved in such an important effort."

AFCA members will wear the "Coach to Cure MD" logo patch on the sidelines and college football fans are asked to donate to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on this disease.

Football fans can donate to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research throughout the Sept. 25 contests by going online to www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word "CURE" to 90999 (a $5 donation will automatically be added to your next phone bill and standard text message rates apply).

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed during childhood and primarily affects boys across all races and cultures.  Boys and young men with this disorder develop progressive muscle weakness that eventually causes loss of mobility, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function.  Currently, there is no cure and limited therapeutic options exist.

Last year, over 5,200 college coaches from 351 schools participated in the "Coach to Cure MD" event, which is sponsored nationally by the financial service firm TIAA-CREF.  Families affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will also gather for fundraising tailgate parties on campuses around the country to help encourage more fans to get involved.

In additon to the Bulldog staff, thousands of other coaches across the country will also take part in Saturday's important cause, including coaches such as Texas' Mack Brown, Jim Tressel of Ohio State and Dick Tomey, former president of the AFCA and a national spokesperson for the project.

"The Coach to Cure MD program is in line with the core values of college football," said Mount Union (Ohio) head coach Larry Kehres, who is the current president of the AFCA. "We believe we can raise millions of dollars to support this crucial effort. Help us in the fight to end Duchenne."

The financial service firm TIAA-CREF has signed on again this year as the national sponsor and will donate air-time on September 25th for a Coach to Cure MD commercial featuring football legends, Jim Tressel and Rich Rodriguez.

The AFCA was founded in 1922 and is considered the primary professional association for football coaches at all levels of competition. The 10,000-member organization includes more than 90 percent of head coaches at the 700-plus schools that sponsor football at the college level. Members include coaches from Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico.

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. The organization's mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy through research, advocacy, education and compassion. PPMD is headquartered in Middletown, Ohio with offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

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