Coach Cal participating in Coaches vs. Cancer weekend

John Calipari will leave his dress shoes in the closet this weekend and grab a pair of sneakers to support the annual Coaches vs. Cancer “Suits and Sneakers” weekend.

More than 4,000 coaches, including Coach Cal, will turn awareness into action this weekend by swapping their dress shoes for sneakers to finish the fight against cancer.

“My mother died of cancer,” Calipari said. “Both of my grandmothers had a form of blood cancer and both passed away from cancer. It’s something that I look at and I just say, ‘If we can help here at the University of Kentucky, if that makes a difference in that cause, you can.’ ”

This year, fans will have a chance to help. When you donate $5 to Coaches vs. Cancer by texting the word “COACH” to 20222 or donating online any time between Jan. 25 and April 9, you’ll be entered for a chance to experience the thrill of college basketball as a true insider. Prizes include the chance to be with Coach Cal as he addresses his team before the first official practice of the 2013-14 season at Big Blue Madness, a VIP trip to the 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and signed gear by other top coaches.

Fans can increase their chances to win by texting as often as they like (each text will donate $5 to Coaches vs. Cancer).

UK’s coaching staff is expected to wear both polo shirts and shoes to support the cause this weekend when the Cats take on LSU on Saturday at 4 p.m.