A sold-out crowd filled the Hinkle Fieldhouse court on Monday, Nov. 7 for the 5th Annual Butler Basketball Tip-Off Dinner presented by Merrill Lynch. Head men's basketball coach Brad Stevens gave attendees a look at the future of the program, while keynote speaker and legendary coach Don Meyer gave everyone some laughs and life lessons.
The event also offered new Butler University President James Danko a chance to address Butler supporters and Athletic Director Barry Collier gave attendees a glimpse of what the department is planning for future facility enhancements.
The dinner has quickly grown into the largest single-day fundraising event each year for Butler University Athletics, due in large part to presenting gold sponsor Merrill Lynch and its support since the inception of the event in 2007.
The event added 10 silver sponsors this year – Asterion, CNO Financial, Mo's Steakhouse, Graduate Services, The Hagerman Group, M&I Bank, Moore Engineers, Shiel Sexton, Tom Reilly and Tom Wood Automotive.
"The Tip-Off Dinner was another success this year, with an energetic crowd of 300-plus in attendance," said Associate Athletic Director Mike Freeman. "Coach Stevens always does a wonderful job letting attendees get some in-depth thoughts on our team and Don Meyer was an incredible speaker with a great message."
Meyer is a legendary figure and Stevens' good friend who won 924 games in his college coaching career. Following a serious car accident and inoperable cancer diagnosis, Meyer has received national recognition in various national media outlets. In July 2009 he was named the winner of the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award at ESPN's ESPYs Show. Meyer used his national spotlight to again promote the school and community he calls home — Northern State University and Aberdeen, S.D.
Dan Dakich, Jud Heathcote and Gene Keady have been the keynote speakers at previous Butler Tip-Off dinners.
Brandon Gaudin, the play-by-play voice of the Bulldogs on 1070 The Fan, emceed the event. A special thanks to the Tip-Off Committee – Lou Jenkins, Ken Keltner, Blair Vandivier, Don Fledderjohn and Larry Metzing - which helps make the event possible.