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Bo Ryan helped raise more than $1 million for cancer this weekend

Bo Ryan

AP Photo


Bo Ryan has coached at Wisconsin for the last 14 years, and in those 14 seasons, he’s never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten standings.

You might think that is the most impressive streak of his coaching career, but I’d disagree.

Over the weekend, Ryan played a major role in the Wisconsin Coaches vs. Cancer gala, which raised $1,191,567 for cancer research. That’s a record for similar events around the country. The previous record was set in 2014 at the very same gala, which broke a record set the previous year at the event.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

“The first year (we raised) $67,000 and we thought, boy, that was a great night,” Ryan said. “And a lot of that money came from people paying to see me do the hambone. Now, this is how far we’ve come. We’re going to set the tone again for the country.”

Amy Rohrer, local organizer for Coaches vs. Cancer, said she’s asked all the time what the secret is for Wisconsin’s robust fundraising. She said it starts with an effective Board of Ambassadors and generous sponsors, but she reserves much of the credit to Ryan and the passion he brings to the issue.

“Coach Ryan just puts so much effort and enthusiasm into it every day of his life,” Rohrer said. “This is a big deal for him. It’s not for show. He loves it. This is a big part of his heart, and he’s convinced that cancer can be cured right here in our backyard.”

Ryan also quelled rumors that his coaching career may be coming to an end, which is a good thing for Badger basketball and a bad thing for cancer.