For pictures and articles from Suits and Sneakers Weekend, as well as information on cancer awareness, click here.
AKRON, Ohio – To show their support for Dan Peters in his fight against pancreatic cancer, the Akron Zips will host a "Purple Out" on Wednesday, Jan. 29, against Ball State as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend.
Peters, the director of basketball operations for the men's basketball team the past five seasons, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December and has been on a leave of absence since to pursue treatment.
The men's program has dedicated the season to Coach Peters – also known as "Pete" – and has worn a patch on their uniforms with a purple ribbon and the words "4 Pete's Sake." Fans and members of the college basketball community have also shown their support on Twitter by using the hash tag #4PetesSake.
In past years, the Zips have taken part in the annual Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, which is set for Jan. 24-26. However, the event will have greater meaning this season with one of Akron's own battling cancer. Starting Friday, GoZips.com will go purple through Wednesday's game as part of the Suits and Sneakers weekend.
During the men's game against Ball State, purple shirts with the "4 Pete's Sake" logo will be distributed to the first 3,000 fans in attendance. Fans are also encouraged to wear purple to the game in the event that all of the shirts have been distributed before they arrive. Fans can also purchase a "4 Pete's Sake" pin for $5, with proceeds going to pancreatic cancer research.
Members of the basketball community will also show their support for Peters during the Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend or in games next week by wearing a "4 Pete's Sake" pin on their lapels. Every school at which Peters has worked, as well as every member of the Mid-American Conference and other programs, will show their support for Peters.
Those showing their support for Peters include Akron (men and women), Arizona, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Delta State, Eastern Michigan (men and women), Houghton College, Indiana, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Ohio State, St. Joseph's College (Ind.), Toledo, Walsh University, Western Carolina, West Virginia, Western Michigan and Youngstown State (men and women). Peters' son, Danny Peters, is the assistant director of basketball operations at Arizona. Drew Hannan, the head coach at Houghton College, is a former student-athlete of Coach Peters.
A 30-plus year veteran of the collegiate coaching scene, Peters joined the Akron staff in 2009 after time at Ohio State (2004-09) and Cincinnati (1999-2004) as an assistant coach, as well as the head coaching spot at Youngstown State (1993-99). He also was on former Akron head coach Coleman Crawford's staff for the 1989-90 and 1990-91 campaigns.
Peters is a Northeast Ohio native who was born in Cleveland and grew up in Canton. He is a 1976 graduate of Kent State University.
Fans interested in learning how they can help everyone battling pancreatic cancer can visit the National Pancreatic Awareness Network and National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation web sites for more information.
Dan Peters Coaching Career
Akron (Director of Basketball Operations): 2009-Present
Ohio State (Associate Director of Operations and Assistant Coach): 2004-09
Cincinnati (Assistant Coach): 1999-2004
Youngstown State (Head Coach): 1993-99
Saint Joseph's College (Ind.) (Head Coach): 1991-93
Akron (Assistant Coach): 1989-91
Western Carolina (Assistant Coach): 1988-89
Walsh (Head Coach): 1983-88
Walsh (Assistant Coach): 1981-83
Delta State (Graduate Assistant): 1979-80