James T. Valvano has given hope and inspiration to countless cancer patients and their families. After doctors diagnosed him with metastatic cancer in 1992, he, with ESPN, established The V Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993. Since its creation, the nonprofit organization has raised millions of dollars and awarded research grants nationwide. Valvano began his career in 1969 as head basketball coach for Johns Hopkins University, where he led the team to its first winning season in 24 years. He also coached Bucknell University, Iona College, and North Carolina State University, where he won the National Championship in 1983. During his career, he appeared in eight NCAA tournaments. In 1990, he retired and began a broadcast career with ABC/ESPN as a basketball commentator and analyst. Again, Valvano quickly rose to the top of his field, earning an American Cable Entertainment Award in 1992. In 1993, he became a member of the Rutgers University Basketball Hall of Fame. That same year, ESPN awarded him with the first Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Valvano died in 1993 at age 47. His brother, Bob Valvano, reconstructed the coach’s life in the book A Coach’s Legacy: The Gifts of Jimmy V (2001).
James T. Valvano
Basketball Coach, ABC Sports Commentator
Rutgers College 1967
Hall of Distinguished Alumni Class of