Toledo 'Ties One On' for a good cause

By coaching standards, at least, Tod Kowalczyk is nattily dressed.

Compared to Larry Burns, Toledo’s executive vice president for external affairs, Kowalczyk is a schlub.

Two years ago, when Kowalczyk joined the Rockets after eight years at Wisconsin-Green Bay, Burton asked him if he’d ever wear a bow tie for a game.

Kowalczyk said not without a legitimate reason.

On Saturday for Toledo’s game against Buffalo, Kowalczyk and his entire staff will sport specially-made Rocket bow ties as part of the university’s Tie One On campaign to raise money for prostate cancer care and research.

The bowties are available for purchase here for a $100 donation or $20 for students.

Kowalczyk, who helped raise $5,000 in last year’s first Tie One On celebration, is hoping to bring in $20,000 this year.

The pep band will be sporting the fancy neckwear as well as Kowalczyk’s toddler kids, Race and Rose.

It’s not just Burns’ sartorial challenge that got Kowalczyk to thinking. It was Burns himself. A cancer survivor, the longtime university administrator has put a lasting imprint on the university, helping to develop their marketing and social media arms and also stressing Toledo’s commitment to cultural diversity.

"He’s incredible," Kowalczyk said simply.

Burns is also incredibly well-dressed, his impeccable suits and style serving as his calling card.

Now for at least a few hours, the rest of Toledo will follow in his fashion conscious footsteps for a good cause.