2014 NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES TOUR DELAYED
Military Appreciation Partnerships announced on April 25, 2014 that the 2014 NCAA College Football Coaches Tour, taking College Football coaches to Military Bases in Europe and the Middle East has been delayed.
The “Tour” was scheduled for May 8th through the 16th and included stops in England, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Afghanistan. The cast of coaches included Mark Helfrich of Oregon, Troy Calhoun of the Air Force Academy, Mike Toop of the Merchant Marine Academy, and Sean McConnell from the University of New Hampshire. Dan Hawkins, former Boise State and Colorado coach, and Houston Nutt, former coach at Ole Miss and Arkansas, were also on the “Tour.”
“There is no way we can adequately express our disappointment,” said MAP Founder Mike Whalen. “This collection of coaching giants set aside their limited time to deliver America to our Troops. Unfortunately, the Military was unable to provide the transportation required to bring these coaches down range. The transportation issue is just one of the many challenges faced by the Tour”.
No Government funds can be used for troop visits, so groups like MAP must fund their efforts entirely on their own. Despite an extensive fund raising drive to corporations and individuals, donations fell below the minimum required $250,000.
“We knew that we were tackling an ambitious schedule to get these coaches in theater this spring,” said Whalen. “The silver lining to this, though, has been the overwhelming response from Mr. and Mrs. America.
”A campaign called 'Truckers for the Troops' challenged American Truckers to donate $10 to the cause. Conceived by a trucker from Nebraska, the campaign gained momentum and will continue despite the delay of the Tour. I’ve spoken personally to each of the Tour Coaches and their desire to visit the Troops is stronger than ever. All agreed not to cancel the Tour. Instead, they have asked that we delay it,” Whalen explained. “When you see the support from the coaches and campaigns like the 'Truckers for the Troops', it made the necessary delay easier to accept. We will not be deterred from our mission, which was and continues to be “Taking the Spirit of America to our Troops around the World.”
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Coaches disembark to meet the troops in Kuwait
“While on active duty, and now in retirement, I've watched Military Appreciation Partnerships successfully engage men and women in uniform around the globe. They support our troops through quality motivational and educational events that truly inspire!”
Rick Devereaux, Maj. Gen. USAF (Ret.)
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