Coaching for a cause; Marshall supports Coaching for Literacy


Matt Crow

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall yells after a play during Wichita State’s victory over UCF..

For those who attended Thursday’s game against Central Florida, one thing stood out: the entire Shocker coaching staff wearing bright green ties.

Those green ties aren’t just for a fashion statement; it represents Coaching for Literacy (CFL).

Coaching for Literacy’s mission is to use the power of sports to raise awareness about the problem of illiteracy and generate financial support for literacy programs nationwide.

Head Coach Gregg Marshall and the Wichita State basketball team started a partnership with CFL to raise awareness about the issue of illiteracy in America and to provide support for young children struggling to read in Wichita.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to read,” Marshall said.

Marshall said one thing that stood out about the illiteracy epidemic is how much money goes into trying to fix the problem.

“It’s amazing how much money is wasted,” Marshall said. “Illiteracy costs in the U.S. reach 225 billion dollars annually through non-productivity in the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue.”

CFL is partnering with over 40 NCAA teams. Coaching for Literacy has funded over 50 literacy projects across 20 communities in 11 states directly helping 8,000 children.

“We know if children are not literate by the end of third grade their chances for sustained academic and life success diminish radically,” Marshall. “Our program is honored to partner with Coaching for Literacy to positively impact the future of young people in our community.”

Money is raised by donors pledging money for each assist the Shockers get starting from Thursday night’s UCF game through the game at Memphis.

“Fans can support young students in Wichita by donating for each assist recorded by the Shockers…and we have a number of them usually,” Marshall said.

The money raised goes directly back into the community, for a summer reading camp for Wichita children.

“Literacy experts agree that reading over the summer is crucial to literacy growth,” Jeanine Phillips, executive director for the Fundamental Learning Center, said in the official press release. “Funds raised by Wichita State fans will give local children the ability to attend our summer literacy intervention camp, ‘Reading Fundamentals.’”

The fundraiser goes from Jan. 25 to Feb. 6. Fans can donate  at