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Mike Rhoades finds common cause with Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament

nate-mug-10.12.14by:Nate Bauer05/31/24


Penn State head coach Mike Rhoades year-end press conference

Penn State men’s basketball coach Mike Rhoades knows the feeling. Taking the microphone at the program’s annual Coaches vs. Cancer captain’s reception on Thursday evening at Medlar Field, he wanted to deliver a message.

In this, the 27th iteration of the program’s involvement with the event, Rhoades wanted to express his connection to the community, the impression the effort has left on him, and the impact that cancer has had on so many lives. Embracing the opportunity to do his part to help lift the effort, following the path laid out by former Nittany Lion head coaches Bruce Parkhill, Jerry Dunn, Ed DeChellis, Pat Chambers, and Micah Shrewsberry before him, 

“First and foremost, I’m completely humbled and so appreciative of how many people want to be involved in this event, and what we do all year long, and how many people want to volunteer to help,” Rhoades told Blue White Illustrated. “For me to be the head coach, and have all these people want to be a part of it is humbling. I’m so appreciative.”

Making a connection

That appreciation is well founded.

Now more than a year into his tenure with the program, Friday’s golf tournament will be the second he hosts in the role. An event that will bring more than 400 golfers for morning and afternoon shotgun starts, spanning both of the Penn State Golf Course layouts, its purpose remains steadfast within the community.

Since its inception in 1995, the CVC-Penn State chapter has generated more than $4.0 million in contributions supporting locals and their families enduring the challenges of cancer. 

And, for Rhoades, the parallels between the organization and its mission and that of the Penn State men’s basketball program are straightforward.

“I love being a part of a team. I love being a part of a group that’s like everyone is rowing in the same direction, just like a team,” said Rhoades. “My basketball teams, you want everybody to have a role and just pushing forward and trying to get better all the time and have an impact on each other. That’s what this is. That’s what’s so cool about this.”

Next steps at Penn State

Pointing to the frequency of individuals volunteering their time and energies into helping to boost the event, on a year-round basis, Rhoades added that contributions both large and small all deliver results.

“’Coach, how can I help? What can I do?’ It can be from the littlest thing to the biggest things,” said Rhoades. “And it’s just not putting money for this. There’s a lot of meetings. They’re spearheading this. And all the people helping them. 

“That’s been humbling to me and it just tells you about the type of people around here. It tells you about how cancer has impacted everybody’s life and they want to do something about it. So just to be a part of this team, is really, really cool. A lot of fun.”

Blue-White Illustrated is proud to again participate in this year’s CVC golf tournament. To suport the Penn State chapter of CVC, learn more here.

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