Ron Zook heading off on Patriotic Voyage

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Zooker to Visit Troops in Germany and Southwest Asia,  Coaches to visit eight countries in nine days

Illinois Football Coach Ron Zook will join four other head coaches in visiting U.S. troops in Germany and Southwest Asia later this month. Zook will be joined by Army coach Rich Ellerson, Oregon’s Chip Kelly, Harvard’s Tim Murphy and Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville on an eight-stop, nine-day tour.

“This visit to our troops will be very inspiring,” Illinois Coach Ron Zook said. “I want to make sure they understand we appreciate all that they do to make our world a better place to live. Our men and women serving in the armed forces put their lives on the line every day to help defend freedom, and, if in some small way our visit can help to motivate them, our time will be very well spent.”

The USO, working with Morale Entertainment, has deployed the coaches to boost morale and bring a touch of home to troops. The group is scheduled to visit eight countries in nine days, and upon the group’s return, the coaches are tentatively scheduled to visit the White House.american flag

The Coaches Tour has touched over 40,000 troops to date. It is anticipated that the 2010 edition will provide the opportunity to meet and interact with 15,000 to 20,000 service members during the mission this year.

The schedule of daily events downrange includes autograph and photo sessions with the Coaches. Panel discussions with the Coaches and individual meet-and-greet opportunities and flag football games, as well as skill competitions and athletic combines are once again being planned.

The Coaches Tour 2010 will be supported by the USO as a new partner. They will be joining Armed Forces Entertainment and Morale Entertainment as presenters of the Coaches Tour. Under Armour will again be a tour sponsor and a representative from the Wounded Warrior Foundation has been invited to accompany the Coaches Tour 2010. American Airlines will be providing both domestic and international support for the Coaches Tour 2010 from their office of Veterans and Military Initiatives.

As in the past, the Coaches will distribute literally tons of donated athletic apparel and university branded items from the schools and sponsors associated with the Coaches Tour to our troops overseas. Additionally, American Airlines will be providing passenger vouchers for no cost air transportation to outstanding members of the Armed Services in gratitude for their continued service to the United States.

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