ASU Coach Winning The Victory Over Cancer

JONESBORO, AR--Sports has always been about overcoming adversity to beat your opponent. However, what if that adversity is cancer?

For the past decade the name Craig Cummings is synonymous with volleyball in Region 8.

"He lives, breathes and eats ASU volleyball. It's his life," said senior setter Katie Peil.

According to Peil, the three time Sun Belt Coach of the Year is a huge part of his player's lives.

"He's very patient and very understanding, he is like a fatherly figure to us all," said Peil.

Cummings has won over 200 games in his career at ASU, but with him running this week's volleyball camp; he is on his way to winning an even bigger battle.

"I was diagnosed with a nice sized cancerous tumor and I had that removed in mid May and I am still recovering from that," said Cummings.

"It was one of the hardest things I think as a team that we went through," said senior middle blocker Robin Aaron.

Aaron feels just having Cummings back on the court is an inspiration to his players.

"It's so cool to see him walking around campus. No he's not exactly 100%, but he is still Coach Cummings and he is never going to change and it's so awesome to have him around," said Aaron.

"We know that he has been through a lot and obviously a great winning season would help along the way," said Peil.

Cummings isn't out of the woods just yet. Over the next three to four months he will undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment to help fight the cancer, a timeline that corresponds directly with the upcoming volleyball season.

"It may present some problems during the season, so be it, but again I'm lucky. I think I am extremely lucky," said Cummings.

He says the thoughts and prayers of the ASU family have been instrumental in his recovery and while he knows there will be speed bumps he remains focused on winning whatever games or challenges are put in front of him.

"I've got my mission. It just so happens there's this little side bar that needs to be take care of and that's ok," said Cummings.

To his fans and players, Cummings is already a winner.

Coach Cummings and his team open up their home season at the Convocation Center August 31st against Murray State.