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AutoNation Cure Bowl Awards Louisiana’s Alonzo Brown and Tulane’s John Leglue as Community Service Soldiers

2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl
December 13, 2018 | Orlando Sports Foundation, Inc

AutoNation Cure Bowl Awards Louisiana’s Alonzo Brown and Tulane’s John Leglue as Community Service Soldiers

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – As a part of the AutoNation Cure Bowl benefitting BCRF, executive director Alan Gooch awarded Louisiana Lafayette’s junior linebacker Alonzo Brown and Tulane’s redshirt senior offensive lineman John Leglue with Community Service Soldier Medallions. The soldiers were recognized on Thursday at the AutoNation Cure Bowl Press Conference at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort Convention Center.

The recipients of the medals led their squads through their activities in the community. These individuals’ values stand in line with the AutoNation Cure Bowl’s cause – bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer.

Due to the threat of inclement weather, Friday’s Pep Rally and Battle of the Bands at Universal City Walk Lagoon and Plaza Stage has been canceled. Both bands will help kick off the Feeding Children Everywhere Charity Event on Friday afternoon.

Festivities on Saturday will kick off with the AutoNation Pregame Tailgate and Concert at Tinker Field starting at 10:30 a.m. Multi-platinum recording artist Andy Grammer will take the stage at 11:30 a.m. for a 75-minute set.

The fourth-annual AutoNation Cure Bowl presented by Florida Hospital kicks off on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network. Locally, fans can listen to the Touchdown Radio network’s broadcast on iHeart Media’s Real Radio 104.1 FM.

Full transcription of Thursday’s Press Conference for Louisiana and Tulane…


Dr. Annette Khaled, UCF College of Medicine and BCRF Researcher

Opening Statement:

“The work that we’re doing right now at UCF is really mostly due to the cure bowl endeavors that we were able to secure funding for the breast cancer research foundation. And, because of the that, you can see we are developing therapies, diagnostics, we’re using cutting edge technologies, like nano-technology and the … biopsy that I mentioned. All these things are due to the ability of having funds from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through the Cure Bowl process and during the last four years now. So, I am here to answer any questions if you may have on what we’re doing.”


On what has been the most meaningful breakthrough in her research:

“It’s been the diagnostic. That’s really important, because a lot of people developing therapies for all different types of cancer including breast cancer. But the challenge comes when you try to use that in patients. Which patients will benefit? Even today, doctors still have that question. Which therapy should I use for which patient? So being able to develop a diagnostic arm that runs in parallel to a therapy is really powerful. And, that, to me, is the most exciting part.”


On how the Cure Bowl has helped her platform:

“Oh, it’s visibility. I mean, even being here in the room with all of you today, and listening to what we are doing. It is really getting everyone a public understanding of what we are doing. It is not closed behind doors. My lab is open. What we are doing is open to anybody who wants to learn about it. And having visibility through the Cure Bowl to do that has been a real privilege.”


On the process of getting money from BCRF:

“That’s a great point. So, I don’t automatically get the money. So, I have to go through a vetting process. So, I present my ideas to a scientific ward at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and they are the ones who say “this is really exciting research” or “no, we’re not really interested in this.”  So, my research is really vetted by their process. They were very excited about what we are doing here. That is why they are supporting the work that we are doing and had repeatedly funded – it’s not just been one time. Every year, I had to submit a progress report and tell them what I am doing, what progress we have made, and, based on that, they have continued to fund me. I was really happy to receive another group of funding that came in October this year. So, we’re moving forward, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is supporting us in that process.”

On how much of the Cure Bowl’s $3.55 million has she actually received:

“I’ve received a little over 1.1 million from that money. So, we have really had significant investments and BCRF is really invested in Orlando, in UCF, and in the research that is being done here in this community.”


Tulane Players LB Zachary Harris, S Roderic Teamer, Jr., and OL John Leglue

On playing in a bowl game for breast cancer research

Roderic Teamer Jr. – “As you said we are excited to be here – being in Orlando, being part of the Cure Bowl. A lot of us didn’t know the significance of the bowl game until yesterday when we got to the opening ceremony. We are excited to be playing for such a great cause.”

John Leglue – “Just adding onto what Rod said, the ceremony yesterday really opened up a lot of our eyes. Being able to play in a bowl game that supports cancer research is huge for everybody. Especially because a lot of us have people that have been effected by cancer so helping with research is a big thing for us.”


Zachary Harris – “Being personally effected by this – breast cancer, my grandma – she actually passed away last year from it. So, it’s very dear to me. Just to be playing for that cause means a whole lot.”


On what stood out about the importance of this bowl:

Roderic Teamer Jr. – “The biggest statistic that stood out to me is that we lose about 40,000 women a year. That’s crazy to think about for me.”


On the significance of making a bowl game through the year’s efforts

John Leglue – “We had a goal from the beginning to make a bowl game and to go win a bowl game. Just being able to achieve that goal and then also support cancer research is huge. Being able to come out here to Orlando, the whole team has been very blessed to have this opportunity and we are very thankful to be here.”


On being committed to the Cajuns, flipping commitment to Tulane and plans after Tulane:

John Leglue – “I remember back when I was getting recruited by Lafayette – I committed originally. My parents really wanted me to focus on education. A four-year degree from Tulane is going to help me out over the next 40 years. I mean, it’s a world-renowned education. I was able to come in here – I graduated in three years and just finished my master’s degree. Just being able to receive two degrees from a prestigious university like Tulane is just really going to help me out in the long run. Basically, I decided to trust what my parents were telling me. They always pushed education on me and made sure, you had football and then you have to make sure you have something to fall back on. I have been blessed to be put in this situation with Coach [Willie] Fritz and everybody – having great seniors as teammates and everybody else on the team. I just finished my master’s last Tuesday and that’s probably my proudest achievement. Being able to do that, while working with football and practicing every day – that’s huge. Zach’s [Harris] finishing his master’s degree as well. Everybody at Tulane has the same common goal: to win football games and to get a great education. That is probably the biggest component. [Roderic] Teamer is finishing up this year, as well. Moving on from here, I’m going to try to go to the NFL and if that doesn’t work out. I’ll use my degree to find a job somewhere.”


On finding out they were playing the Cajun’s:

John Leglue – “I kind of laughed because I know a lot of people over at ULL and a lot of people I got recruited with – they’re still there as well. I laughed because I have a lot of kinfolk from Lafayette too. It’s a lot of ties and, it’s a big game for Tulane, too. Recruiting for Louisiana, too, so, we need to go out there and do our job.”


On adversity through the years and the season:

Roderic Teamer Jr. – “I’ve been here a year shorter than you guys (John Leglue, Zachary Harris) they’re fifth-year guys and from the moment I got here they took me in. We knew it was going to be a battle. The year after I got to Tulane, is when Coach Fritz came. We embraced Coach Fritz and he embraced us and we knew that – he’s known for turning programs around so, we were excited for that. But, we knew it was going to be a battle. Coach Fritz always tells us, ‘nothing is guaranteed, no team will lay down for you.’ So, we knew everything would be a battle and we were hyped up for the battle. At one point, we were 2-5 and we never got down on each other. We just stayed focused and we made it in.”


On the 2016 overtime game against the Cajun’s:

John Leglue – “That game’s in the past, it was a great experience, but it’s a few years ago. We have had the same mindset at practice each and every day ‘execute what the coaches are putting in’ and we treat every game the same. So, even though we’re playing in December now, it’s just the same routine at practice.”

Zachary Harris – “I mean, I have a lot of friends like how Leglue said, that play for ULL. I know that was on their mind – losing that big overtime game. So, it definitely has a big tension between us in this game with the rivalry going on and whatnot. Also, as well, five years ago, we played them in the New Orleans Bowl and they won so, it’s kind of a 1-1 matchup right now. It’s going to be a great game.”


On momentum of winning four of the last five games:

Roderic Teamer Jr. – “Honestly, I say that yeah, we have momentum from winning the last game of the season but, honestly, it’s been two weeks. We get a break. We get time off to kind of collect our thoughts and come down from the hype of realizing you are in a bowl game. It’s been time to work for us. We’ve been grinding. Preparing for the game as Zach said and John said and then we have the game.”


On ULL’s running team vs Tulane’s running defense:

Zachary Harris – “Previously back during Navy week, that’s a game that defenses like ours really look for and love. We like the physicality – run defense and stopping the run. So, it’s going to be a great matchup.”

Roderic Teamer Jr. – “Like Zach said, our defense prides our self on physicality and stopping the run. Knowing that ULL has two all-conference running backs is an exciting challenge for us, as well. I played against Trey Ragas in high school so, I’m looking forward to seeing him again as well. I’ll be fun for our defense definitely.”


On the personal and team growth as upperclassman:

John Leglue – “The growth of the team I mean, the continuity amongst each other is phenomenal. Everybody at the beginning of the year, we all had open arms with the freshman coming in. And they finally adjusted to the new lifestyle coming from high school – being the top dog, to coming into college and being an underclassman. They had to adjust to that. Me, (Roderic) Teamer, and Zach (Harris), we all had open arms and helped them. We brought them along even through tough times, you just got to help them fight through adversity. We just got to keep pushing them in the same direction and just bind them with the coach’s teachings.”

Zachary Harris – “Coach always stressed everybody pulling in the same direction. Coming from my freshman year, younger years, I wasn’t really in that leadership role. But, now I’m older and becoming a leader on the team, and being in grad school, just showing the younger guys that you actually can do it and always keep your education first as well. Basically, everyone just working hard and going in the same direction.”

John Leglue – “One more thing to add, like (Roderic) Teamer said earlier, we were 2-5. Coach Fritz emphasized, ‘don’t let the outside noise bother you at all.’ And everybody really came together for the last five games. We really stuck together and when people doubt us, we all lean on one another. So, we just got to continue to do that and trust the coaches.”


On community service in New Orleans

John Leglue

“Tulane’s huge on our active service with the community. We have gone to ‘NFL Day’ at the YMCA and we go and help teach them (the kids) how to play football properly. We work with the Special Olympics. The student-athlete athletic organization is where we really try to have a bond with the Special Olympics. We go help them, coach basketball, all different types of sports. We also work with different art institutes in New Orleans. It’s all different types of organizations. We helped feed the homeless shelters as well. It’s just really nice to use our platform to help the community of New Orleans.

“I really enjoy working with the Special Olympics. Those children really enjoy working with us and they don’t even care that we play college football – just that we’re giving them attention and working with them. They just love having fun. Every time you see them they give you hugs. They’re always super happy. It’s unbelievable to have. In today’s society there’s so many people that don’t really just enjoy living life and those kids just really enjoy doing the small things in life.”


Tulane Head Coach Willie Fritz

Opening Statement:

“Yeah, you know, I hope we got that [the player’s press conference] on videotape. I mean these guys were recruiting. Rod’s [Roderic Teamer] going to graduate here in the next week. John (Leglue), sitting here in the middle. He is going to graduate. Well, he has already graduated with his MBA. Zach Harris is working on his graduate degree. He will be finished with that here in the next week. That is what Tulane is all about – combining world-class academics and also playing big time Division I football and doing it all in the iconic city of New Orleans. We are really proud to be here at this ball game. As Rod [Roderic Teamer] talked about, and we talked about at practice today, a young lady came and spoke who was a cancer survivor. And just did a really impressive job and the opening ceremony that the Cure Bowl set up for us, and I encouraged everyone to take a little pause to think about what this game is all about. I think it gave more meaning. We are very excited about being here. And you know, the whole staff for this game, and the coaches back there – I mean this whole staff has just been phenomenal. Taking us around the city, making us feel welcomed when we are getting ready for a big ball game too. We have got a lot of respect for ULL, their college, and quite a few of the coaches so I think you’re going to see a great game on Saturday.”


On how the program this season has prepared them for this bowl game:

“Yeah, this is a good step in the right direction. I will explain. We knew this was going to be a program where we were going to have to do a good job of recruiting and getting some more guys in. I have just been so happy with the attitude of the guys who were in the program before I got there. You know, Rod and Zach and John. There is only 12 guys who were in the program before I arrived on campus that are still here. Those guys have been just super to work with and tremendous leaders for the whole program, coaches and players alike. So, it’s been a battle, 2-5. I know we lost sight of the goal for us, competing to get into a bowl game, but I think we got all of our goals in sight for us here at Tulane. There’s no reason why we can’t have a great football program at Tulane University.”


On how community service develops players as leaders:

“Well, we all have our own plans to give back to the community. There are certainly a lot of opportunities in New Orleans for us to give back. These guys, especially, there are a lot of things these guys are involved with. And, I think they do a great job on campus as well with all the students there. We feel like we are blessed, and we want to give back. I always tell our guys that we want to have a good attitude and gratitude with everything we do. And, we go out and recruit. I try to stay away from the entitled guys. I like those guys with the strong work ethic and enjoy being part of the university, not just the football program. I think sometimes athletes are sequestered off to a side of campus and they don’t get the opportunity to interact with the whole university. I mentioned, these guys, on a daily basis, are representing Tulane University and the city of New Orleans. And, those guys really take that to heart. Two of the guys are from New Orleans, just right down the street, both Zach and Rod and John is just a couple hours down the road. It’s important to all of us.”


On the prospects of future Louisiana and Tulane matchups:

“We’re always going to try to play at least one school in the state of Louisiana if at all possible each season. These schedules are put together so many years out. I think we are somewhere around the year 2026, and we already have our schedule set. A lot of that is dictated by ESPN and TV, CBS Sports Network. When, where, and who we are going to play so, I think it is a good rivalry. I know we played a few years ago and they traveled really well over to New Orleans, to our place and I know we do the same thing when we play at their school.”


On what the Cajuns are missing out on with recruiting:

“Well, I think with their previous staff, John created a backstory to that entire football program, to our university, leaving with a couple degrees and also playing for us- starting for us at center, guard, and tackle. He’s been thrown around a bit due to the availability of everyone on our team. This year, he played right guard, doing a super job of it. Always the opportunity to keep playing just like all those guys up there. I know that is a dream and a goal for them. All three of these guys are what embodies what a student-athlete does and what student athletes are all about. They are great off the field and they are great on the field. These are the kind of guys we try to recruit.”


Louisiana Players Andre Nunez, Robert Hunt, Corey Turner, Deuce Wallace, Alonzo Brown


On playing in a Bowl in Orlando for cancer research:

Alonzo Brown – “First of all, I want to say I’m blessed to be here and thank God for this opportunity. But when it comes to cancer and how it has affected me and my family, my grandma and my grandfather have died  from cancer, so I just want to…to me it’s an honor to be here to at least and most of all just try to show something that touches so many people’s lives and even part of my family, which I had already mention, so I just want to say thank you for the opportunity.

Deuce Wallace – “I think it’s definitely awesome, because I mean I haven’t had a direct contact with cancer, but somebody like him, somebody in his family. It keeps it in perspective that it’s bigger than football and playing in the Cure Bowl, you know for breast cancer. I think it makes it way bigger than football.”


On the changes of this whirlwind season:

Robert Hunt – “It means a lot man. This team and all of the coaching staff and a lot of work and the spring new coaching staff came in and to have the attempt to play a bowl game again, just represent the south, it’s an honor man.”


On being from Lafayette and being recruited by Tulane:

Deuce Wallace – “Yeah, I am from Lafayette, but no, I was not recruited by Tulane. I was not recruited by anybody. I was a preferred walk on when I first started my career.”


On coming to Orlando and playing in a bowl game for cancer research:

Corey Turner – “I would go, just like Deuce said, ‘it’s important to give back and it’s going towards a good cause and it’s bigger than football’ and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Andre Nunez  – “Like before I said it’s a pleasure to be here and you here some of these stories that we did yesterday when we first got here. We get the opportunity to effect a lot of people that play this game for a great cause.”


On dealing with injury:

Alonzo Brown – “Injury, I’m going start with injury. Freshman and sophomore year, I had two injuries that pretty much erased two seasons for me. At first, I asked the question like, why me, but it’s been an advantage to this day. I just kind of have got a blessing, because it’s made me a better man. It has taught me to persevere no matter what happens, because I mean, you can make plans in life, most of the time, your plans don’t go as planned, so I’ve learned to just trust the process, be willing to grind and whatever God’s will is – I’m willing to let it be done.”


On community service awards and activities in the Lafayette community:

Alonzo Brown – “Yes sir, we just keep trying to help somebody else other than myself, because life is mostly about people. We interact with people just about everyday. Just to put a smile on one person’s face and to tell them everything going to be alright because they are going to do something. I mean it means a lot to me, because at one point in my life, I needed somebody to lift me so uh I just try my best to give back because I be giving so much.”


On connections to Tulane:

Corey Turner – “It wasn’t really a big part of my life as a kid. I went through their recruiting process and I know a great amount of their players and they’re great athletes and we’re excited about the matchup.”


On moments the last couple of years in community service

Alonzo Brown – “We went to a daycare one morning to greet the kids and coming to school and it really stood out to me because they can impact kid’s life and change it forever, so that was that one time”


On what’s exciting about offense in this game:

Andre Nunez – “They got good players, but we got good defensive players and we manage to do well. You know there’s a lot of opportunities to compete against them, a good team, a good defense and you know we are excited about the opportunity.”


On his thoughts on the game after sitting on the sideline in New Orleans:

Corey Turner – “It means a lot to me with this being my senior year all the work we put in this off season and during fall camp, its finally paying off for us.”


On coaching change:

Andre Nunez – “It is what it is. It’s been a big change for all of us on the team coming with a new coach and stuff. We put all our trust behind him and we work hard all year. We fell in love with the process and this is the love we can enjoy.”


On going to the theme parks in Orlando and his favorite rides:

Andre Nunez – “I’m going go on every ride. I am not scared of no rollercoaster so, I’m going try and stay away from the water rides, I don’t really like getting wet. So, it’ll be fun.”


Louisiana Head Coach Billy Napier

Opening Statement:

“First of all, I’d like to say that we’re extremely proud of our football players as you can see that was just four individuals that represent a great team. Taking flight with a little bit better football the second half of the season, probably, because in most of the visible progress and decisions we have many people, so we are certainly proud of those guys.

“I’ll tell you what this has been a unique opportunity and it’s been great for our players and staff to be a part of such a unique bowl and opportunity. Anytime that you get to be a part of something bigger than yourself it is tremendous. It creates great perspective.

“At UL, we believe that life is about people and football is about people. And certainly, this is an opportunity for our team to really see that even more. I think football can teach you that if there’s tremendous imparimentals between society and life and football. I think being a part of the Cure Bowl has prepared the team to create awareness for breast cancer research has been outstanding.

It’s a tremendous venue and city and to go to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. It’s a great reward for our players and staff. Often times it’s over looked how much these guys actually invest, not only themselves but the team.

“Starting back in January, I took over this program, so I’m very excited about the progress that we have made in the first year. We look forward to this matchup against the other group of five conference teams. Surely they have a good football team, we have tremendous respect for their staff and their players and we’re excited about Saturday.”


On the keys to improvement this year to put them in a bowl game:

“Well, I think you are going to start with intangibles. I think that foot is a game where you oftentimes can succeed if you focus on intangibles, and certainly, that was the objective in the very beginning. I’ll try to get our football team to be more of a group. I want the team to have more unity, togetherness. One of our core values is ‘together’. Therefore, we made lots of progress. We want them to play with more effort and toughness. We wanted to have discipline in how we live our lives, but also how we play the game. I think there is a correlation there. And certainly throughout the season, we started believing a little bit more, and that’s one of our core values as well. You are going to start with the intangibles. I think we improved quite a bit, no question. We are a much better conditioned team. We started to execute better down the stretch, but it started with the intangibles and a terrific offseason and coach Hocke did a terrific job with this group. We got a great coaching staff, you are going to give these guys some credit for the progress we have made.


On the three different backs and the difference they have made this year:

“Well, I think the first thing that stands out about these guys is the fact that we have zero jealousy, selfishness. It’s a very selfless group that gets along well. They are a great team, very much a team-like approach, and there are times when two of the three will have a better game than one of the others, so I think that in our system we are going to play multiple backs, and that’s going to continue to be a trend. It’s a position that the injury rate is high, and you need quality and depth there. We have been fortunate to take care of all of these guys and certainly they are all unique. Trey is a big physical guy, who is a tremendous after contact. Elijah is elusive, catches the ball well, has finishing speed, and the Raymond obviously is a sprinter has world class speed. Certainly, is effective on our team as a returner, not to mention a running back. Biggest compliment I can give those guys is the fact that they are great teammates. They really play well without the ball, they do really well on special teams, certainly coach Juluke has done a good job balancing that. Sometimes when they (coaches) get those skill players in your position group it can be a little bit of a challenge and he’s doing a good job and those guys are doing a good job in that regard.”


On the three keys to the game:

We kind of have our formula that we try to follow each and every week and it starts with owning the ball and attacking the ball. I think we all know the turnover margin is the most significant statistic in football and you can sum it up this year in 8 out of 10 games. You’re going to win if you win the turnover margin and that’s what we started. We have done a better job on defense and getting more takeaways here in the last couple weeks on defense. I think consistently we have been good at taking care of the ball. I do think when we are struggling, and we have lost games. It has been a product of turnovers and that can certainly impact the game. That’s always where we start, we always talk about being a situational expert. There are going to be unique situations throughout the game. For example, recently I think we all saw what happened in the Dolphins – Patriots game, right? So being a situation expert is being prepared as coaches – knowing what coaches call and being prepared to execute that. Whether that be down and distance, specific field zone or relative to the spot. We talked about mastering your craft, playing with great fundamentals and techniques, and I think that’s one of the areas our team has made great progress. And then, you want to overwhelm your opponents and be aggressive in all three phases. How we play, how we call a game, no fear, no anxiety, really attack them the entire day. Lastly, we want to play with legendary finish. We want to finish blocks, we want to finish plays, we want to finish series, and certainly when we get to the end of the game, we want to finish the game. That’s our formula each and every week, and it will be no different this week. It happens to be a different opponent, different location, but when we’ve done that, we’ve had success, and that will be an emphasis this Saturday as well.”


On participating in the Sun Belt Conference Championship and going against an improved Tulane:

“Our conversations with the players have been about this 2018 team, this group of seniors, and really this group of people and what they can accomplish. Certainly ,they (the Cajun players) want to leave a legacy. I think you have somewhat already established somewhat of a legacy in terms of what we have been able to accomplish with our organization playing in the first ever non-bowl Sun Belt Conference Championship Game. This is an opportunity to finish the season the right way, an opportunity to get to eight wins. But, more importantly for me, I want the players to see the benefits of their hard work, and – that’s where were focused right now. Continue to try and improve and play our best football game of the season, play a complete game which, I don’t think we’ve done the entire season really in all three phases. We’re still looking for improvement and we’ve definitely got lots of areas where we can do that and Saturday is an opportunity to do that.”


On the differences between other bowl games and the Cure bowl, and the fun Orlando has to offer:

“I think the key is convincing them that they can do both. They can prepare at a high level to play well in the game and also enjoy the opportunities that come along with a bowl game. It’s good to hear the players say that (they intend to stay focused), hopefully they’re listening but that’s the objective. We tell them there’s two objectives. One is to play well in the game, go play our best football game of the year. And at the same time, enjoy our time here and certainly gain a little different perspective in in terms of the gratitude we should have. I think some of the stories that we heard last night, being associated with a unique bowl that has unique cause. It’s a tremendous opportunity for our players to gain perspective about their involvement in the game and what they can do to help the cause. I think this is a unique experience for our players and we’re excited to be a part of it.”


On the success of the Cajun’s offensive line:

Yeah, I think it’s a group where some were maybe considered the strong points of our team. Some were not as heralded coming in the door. So, lots of talent and effort coming into that group. I think we have got two outstanding coaches that help those guys and a number of other people in the building that help coach. This is a group has a blue-collar approach from the beginning. They lost lots of weight to improve their body composition, much better condition and really, our system. We lean on the offensive line quite a bit. We carry quite a few run concepts. We ask those guys to do a lot. The concept they say and use all the time is “Five is One” and I think that speaks to the communication, the precision that you have got up there and certainly they play technically. I think they have made lots of improvements. It’s certainly a group. We will continue to lean on and that is the brand of football that we want to play. We want to be a big, fast, physical team that rushes the ball and you know, I think everything else gets easier when you can rush it.”


Louisiana Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard

Opening Statement:

“Thank you and good afternoon. Serving on behalf of the entire University of Louisiana I can honestly say that we are very excited and honored to be a participant in the AutoNation Cure Bowl this year. Certainly, for me, this game has very special meaning. Not too long ago, my wife was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, so whether it was fate or just apropos, we feel like there is true meaning behind the University of Louisiana participating in this year’s game.

“Certainly, we know that the driver behind this particular bowl game has special meaning as it raises a great deal of money to further enhance the research total in finding a cure for this disease, so very excited to be here. Truly honored and again it has a very special meaning for myself and my entire family.”


On how his wife, Kerry, is doing:

“Doing well! You know she’s about six weeks into the diagnosis and I’ll tell you there are peaks and valleys. The good news is that it was caught early, diagnosis stage 1, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there’s a lot of mental and psychological anguish that goes along with it. So, the peaks represent the moments where she hangs on to the fact that it was caught early, and her prognosis is good. The valleys are captured by the mind playing the ‘what if’ games, so that’s what we are fighting through, and we know that’s not uncommon for anybody to receive such a diagnosis, but at the end of the day she’s doing quite well.”


On the reaction to the diagnosis:

“It’s just like a punch to the stomach. She was someone, who a month earlier had a clear mammogram, just turned 50 years old, she might get mad at me for sharing the age. She had just turned 50 years old, had a routine checkup and it was clear. And then kind of through a self-exam, felt a very small lump and went in and had it checked out and very quickly it was determined that it was malignant, and it was breast cancer.”


On the importance of about $3.55 million in donations to the fight against breast cancer.

“Well I think, you know, unfortunately, it often sometimes takes you being directly impacted by something like this to really probably have the appreciation that I hope everyone ultimately has at some point. So, for us, it’s extremely important. We know there’s not a for sure cure for this disease right now, but we also realize that even in the past 5-10 years a great amount of progress has been made in research and so treatment protocols are becoming more and more efficient and becoming more and more streamlined, and the key I believe is early detection and that’s where it is today. So women can stay on top of their health in that regard, certainly better for them, because today we do know that if caught early, prognosis can be extremely positive.”