Friday, May 07, 2010

Holly Warlick and Nikki Caldwell's Cruisin' For A Cause Heads to Niagara Falls

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - University of Tennessee Associate Head Basketball Coach Holly Warlick and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Head Basketball Coach and former Lady Vol Nikki Caldwell are back on their motorcycles once again! The duo is proud to announce the Fourth Annual Cruisin' For A Cause presented by FedEx Office - a long haul motorcycle ride dedicated to raising funds and awareness for a cure for breast cancer - as part of their partnership in founding the charitable organization, Champions For A Cause.

This year, for their Fourth Annual Crusin' For A Cause trip, Warlick and Caldwell have their collective sights set on a ride to Niagara Falls, N.Y., with stops along the way on the ride out to Washington D.C. and New York City.

"Our goal is pretty simple," said Warlick. "We want to ride thousands of miles to raise thousands of dollars to recruit thousands of people to join the fight against breast cancer." Also a passionate crusader for breast cancer awareness and research, Caldwell noted, "More than 185,000 women are diagnosed and more than 41,000 women die from breast cancer every year. This ride is one of our advocacy efforts to encourage the health community to advance their work on finding a cure for this life threatening illness."

Kicking off Cruisin' For A Cause is Knoxville's local fundraising event, the TaTa Tour on Saturday, May 8. Warlick and Caldwell are inviting local motorcyclists to join them on a short ride beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET at the Wild Wing Café (Campbell Station Road, I-40), including a special stop at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame at 10:45 a.m. Following the ride, participants and supporters are welcome to join Warlick and Caldwell back at the Wild Wing Café at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET for the TaTa Tour Celebration. Slots are limited for the Knoxville ride and online registration is encouraged.

Following the TaTa Tour ride, Warlick and Caldwell, along with the Cruisin' Crew, an entourage of supporters, will hop back on their bikes at 2:00 p.m. at Wild Wing Café to start the first leg of the 2010 Cruisin' For A Cause, an 1850-mile round-trip to Niagara Falls and back. The motorcycle ride will begin in Knoxville and the crew will stop to host fundraisers and meet fans along the route, including planned events in Washington D.C., at the National Institutes of Health at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 10; in New York City on May 11 with an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America (8:30 a.m. segment with GMA host Robin Roberts); at the U.S. Military Academy on Wednesday, May 12 and in Niagara Falls, N.Y. on Thursday, May 13. The route home will take them through Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, May 14 where they will be recognized at the St. Louis Cardinals at the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball game before their return to Knoxville on Saturday, May 15.

Warlick and Caldwell, along with the Cruisin' Crew, stop by Children's Hospital in Knoxville before celebrating their Knoxville homecoming back at the Wild Wing Café on May 15 at 3:00 p.m.

Past Cruisin' For A Cause events included the inaugural ride in 2007 from San Francisco to Knoxville; a 2008 round-trip from Knoxville to Key West, Fla., and last year's ride, a 1500-mile round-trip along the Natchez Trace. Since 2007, the Cruisin' Crew has traveled more than 6,000 miles and the annual event has contributed to the nearly $100,000 raised by the charitable organization, Champions For A Cause.

Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Champions For A Cause has raised and donated nearly $100,000 to help support the fight against breast cancer. The money raised through these events supports efforts such as the University of Tennessee Breast Health Outreach Program, Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, and The Wellness Community of East Tennessee. These organizations have provided thousands of mammograms, countless treatments, and hours of education for those who could not otherwise afford these life saving services. Champions For A Cause is a non-profit (501(c)-3) fundraising organization started by UT Associate Head Basketball Coach Holly Warlick and UCLA Head Basketball Coach Nikki Caldwell, with the mission to advance and support the cause of charitable organizations who advocate and act to better the quality of life and health for individuals at risk or in need. For more information, visit Champions For A Cause at and on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mickie DeMoss Returns to the Lady Vol Basketball Sidelines

After seven years away from the University of Tennessee, Mickie DeMoss has decided to return to the university and the women's basketball program she called home for 18 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach.

The announcement was made by Tennessee Lady Vol Head Coach Pat Summitt this morning.

DeMoss replaces Tennessee staffer Stephanie Glance who became the head coach at Illinois State University on April 20, 2010.

"I guess Mickie had the `seven-year itch'," joked Summitt. "Seriously, we are thrilled to have Mickie back in the Lady Vol program. She is tied in to so much of our championship success throughout the years. She is a tremendous recruiter, teacher of the game and a great bench coach as well.

"While she was away, she had a chance to be a successful head coach at Kentucky and also to serve on the staff at the University of Texas. Mickie's forte has always been recruiting and working with the post players. Her résumé is so much richer now as a result of her experiences over the past seven years.

"She is excited about coming back and helping us to continue to compete for championships," said Summitt.

DeMoss and current Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick both joined Tennessee's coaching staff prior to the 1985-86 season. For the next 18 years, the coaching trio of Summitt, DeMoss and Warlick, posted six NCAA Championship titles (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997 and 1998) while advancing to 12 NCAA Final Fours. During this span, the Lady Vols had a 554-77 overall record (.878). In 2000, DeMoss was promoted to associate head coach at Tennessee.

"It is just great to be coming back to Knoxville," said DeMoss. "When I left Tennessee to become the head coach at the University of Kentucky, it just seemed to be the right time in my development and growth as a coach. Following that, the opportunity I had to become an assistant coach at the University of Texas was what I needed at the time. As a result, I gained a different perspective and grew a great deal as a coach and person from those experiences.

"Now, I really feel like I'll be coming home. The University of Tennessee, the Lady Vol family and the Knoxville community have always been such a big part of my life. I was honored and excited when Pat asked if I would be interested in coming back to Tennessee," said DeMoss.

DeMoss, who just finished her 33rd season on the sidelines as a women's basketball coach, left the Lady Vols after the 2002-03 season to take the head coaching job at Kentucky. In four seasons, she guided the Wildcats to a 71-56 record including consecutive 20-win seasons (for the first time in 16 years) and three postseason appearances (one NCAA and two WNIT) for the first time in school history.

In 2005-06, DeMoss was named the SEC Coach of the Year, a first for a UK coach, as she guided the 22-9 Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons and punctuated the trip with an NCAA win. This breakout year also included a victory over number one ranked Tennessee, 66-63, in Rupp Arena in front of a school-record crowd of 13,689. It marked UK's first win over a top-ranked team in school history. In 2006-07, UK was 20-14 and advanced to the WNIT. That season, DeMoss' Cats attracted a school record attendance of 5,863 fans per game.

She elected to step aside as head coach at Kentucky in April 2007.

Her coaching hiatus ended when she accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Texas in the summer of 2007. Since then, she has been the Longhorns' top recruiter while also coaching the post game.

Prior to joining the Tennessee staff in 1985, she had been an assistant coach at Auburn University (1983-85), a head coach at the University of Florida (1979-83) and an assistant at Memphis State (1977-79).

DeMoss received her undergraduate degree in physical education from Louisiana Tech University in 1977, where she starred at point guard. She then received her master's degree in education at Memphis State University in 1979. She is a native of Tallulah, La.

The Mickie DeMoss File

Full Name: Mickie Faye DeMoss
Hometown: Tallulah, La. (Delhi High School)
Education: B.S. (Physical Education), Louisiana Tech, 1977; M.S. (Education), Memphis State, 1979

The University of Texas
• Assistant Coach (July 2007-May 2010)
The University of Kentucky
• Head Coach (April 2003-April 2007)
• Four-year record: 71-56
• Led UK to first back-to-back 20-win seasons in 16 years (22-9 in 2005-06, 20-14 in 2006-07)
• Led UK to 2006 NCAA Tournament and to the 2005 and 2007 WNIT
• 2005-06 SEC Coach of the Year
The University of Tennessee
• Associate Head Coach (July 2000-03)
• Assistant Coach (July 1985-July 2000)
• Assisted in helping program to a 554-77 overall record
• Helped Tennessee to 12 NCAA Final Fours, six NCAA national championships (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998) and three NCAA finals (1995, 2000, 2003)
Auburn University
• Assistant Coach (1983-85)
The University of Florida
• Head Coach (1979-83)
• Four-year record: 45-68
Memphis State University
• Assistant Coach (1977-79)
• Louisiana Tech (1973-77)