Aggie Coaching Staff Joining AFCA in Fight Against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen and his staff will join college football coaches across the country in support of the Coach to Cure MD program, which will be held during games on Saturday, Sept. 25. The rapidly growing annual effort has raised more than half a million dollars to battle Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.On Saturday, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members will wear a Coach to Cure MD logo patch on the sidelines and college football fans will be asked to donate to research projects supported by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused entirely on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.”We are happy and honored to support the Coach to Cure MD again this season and we hope to continue to bring awareness to Muscular Dystrophy. Hopefully fans will join in that support by donating to this terrific cause,” Andersen said.Football fans can donate to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research by either 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).The Aggies travel to San Diego, Calif., to take on San Diego State, and SDSU head coach Brady Hoke and his staff will also be wearing the Coach to Cure MD patches.Last year, more than 5,200 college coaches at 351 different institutions participated in the Coach to Cure MD event. Both those figures are well higher than the program’s inaugural year in 2008, when 2,675 coaches from 207 schools took part.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 Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 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 for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and limited therapeutic options exist.The financial service firm TIAA-CREF has signed on again this year as the national sponsor and will donate air-time on September 25 for a Coach to Cure MD commercial featuring football coaches, Jim Tressel and Rich Rodriguez.”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.”In addition to the coaches’ efforts, families affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will also gather for fund-raising tailgate parties on campuses around the country to encourage more fans to get involved.”Parent Project MD is thrilled with the progress of Coach to Cure MD over the last two years,” said Pat Furlong, founding president and CEO of PPMD. “The AFCA and its coaches are helping us put up a vigorous fight against Duchenne, and college football fans have joined the battle in great numbers. We are taking a comprehensive approach in the fight against Duchenne–funding research, raising awareness, promoting advocacy, connecting the community, and broadening treatment options.”About the AFCAThe American Football Coaches Association 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.About PPMDParent 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. For more information, visit www.parentprojectmd.org.-USU-

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