Mizzou coaching legend honored with Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award
On a night where college basketball stars Buddy Hield and Ben Simmons were honored for their work on the court, a coaching legend was honored for his work off of it.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores was proud to sponsor the 2016 Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award, given to Norm Stewart, who coached the Missouri Tigers from 1967 to 1999. Stewart is largely credited with creating a local program at Mizzou that ultimately turned into the well-known, national Coaches vs. Cancer program. More than 500 Division I, II and III college coaches take part in the program, which has raised more than $100 million so far in the fight against cancer.
It's a fight Norm Stewart knows well. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1989, and he talked about the experience at the College Basketball Awards on Monday night, held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Stewart talked about wanting nothing more than his daughter, Laura Stewart Knowles, to stay with him during his treatment -- and he noted the special place she has in his heart because she did. Stewart's wife of six decades, Virginia, attended the ceremony as did Knowles and her husband, T.K., and their children Tiger and Genevieve.
The humanitarian award recognizes Stewart's work in helping to fight cancer, and it's named for an Oklahoma legend. Wayman Tisdale was an extraordinary man who happened to thrive at basketball and music. He starred for the Oklahoma Sooners from 1982 to 1985 and then played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns before retiring to focus on jazz.
"Through the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award, we have been very fortunate to honor some of the great humanitarians in college basketball such as Coack K, Dick Vitale, Jim Boeheim, Tom Izzo and Bill Self," said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love's. "As an Oklahoma company, Love's is proud to be part of an event and an award that honors an individual like Norm Stewart who has had such a profound impact on so many lives."