WILMINGTON, N.C. (Jan. 28, 2011) - UNCW men's basketball head coach Buzz Peterson and his staff will stand out for a good cause at Saturday night's game against VCU, wearing sneakers with their suits at the Siegel Center in Richmond.

The cause is the nationwide Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers® awareness weekend, Jan 28-30, when basketball coaches show their support for the American Cancer Society and its fight against the disease.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a national collaboration between the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living at their schools and in local communities. In addition to the participation by the coaches, basketball fans are also encouraged to sport their sneakers to demonstrate support for the cause.

"You will see my entire staff, including me, wearing tennis shoes on Saturday because it's important to show our support for this cause," said Peterson. Peterson said that although many coaches lace up black sneakers to match their black suits, he and his staff will be sporting the team's white and navy Adidas shoes.

Statistics released in November of 2010 from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services confirmed that cancer is the leading cause of death among North Carolinians. 

This year marks the seventh annual awareness weekend for the Suits and Sneakers event. Peterson has taken part in the campaign during his previous coaching stops at Appalachian State, Tulsa, Tennessee and Coastal Carolina, and believes in the spirit of the cause. "It's critical to create awareness about cancer for people everywhere and especially for those in the local community."

Peterson is just one of many high school and college basketball coaches who have helped raised more than $60 million since 1993 to the American Cancer Society.