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Here's a fun way for your program to raise $50,000

For many people, there are two essential parts of every college football Saturday. There's the game inside the stadium, obviously, and then there's the feast outside it. Two opposite but equally distinct traditions to this ritual we all love. 

On Saturday, Iowa State combined the two by holding the Cyclones' fourth annual Gridiron Club coaches cook-off. It's a fundraiser pitting coaches against each other in a barbecue cook-off, with a silent auction to boot. Coaches and their families cook, fans attend, and everyone has a good time. 

The cook-off is successful because the Iowa State coaches are determined in making it so. “For me, it’s a big deal,” defensive tackles coach Shane Burnham said. “I take a lot of pride in winning, and I take a lot of anger if I lose.” 

We like this idea, with one tweak:

What if you rallied a dozen of your war daddy tailgaters and paired them with a coach? Take your head coach, each of his nine assistants plus your strength coach and the AD and pair them off with a "tailgating team" to form 12 teams. At $2,000 per coach, that's $24,000. Maybe you could fetch a higher price for the head coach, coordinators and the AD. 

Nearly every program has an army of fans who would love a day's worth of face time with a coach and his family all while showing off their skills as Sultan of the Smoker. Throw in a week's worth of advance time to plan a menu and some complimentary coaches' gear, and most programs would have more suitors than available slots.

Best of all, it keeps the coaches involved while getting them away from the grill. Hold the event around this time of year, when coaches have returned from the road and are aching for some family time. Coaches and their families arrive early and spend the morning with their tailgating team finishing up the food, kicking back and enjoying some family time in the sun with some music. About noon, charge fans $20 a head to attend, get a sponsor or two to cover drinks and whatever refreshments may be necessary...add some local music and kid friendly activities and you've got yourself quite a fun family day...and you will have raised more than a few dollars for your program and built deep relationships with some of your most passionate fans. 

All in all, it's a quick, easy and, most important, fun way to raise money and forge a bond with your fan base.

Now, where are my keys? It's time to head to the grocery store and purchase some red meat.