Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, May 22, 2013

Nebraska product and longtime Minnesota baseball assistant Todd Oakes was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia nearly a year ago. But that won't keep him from doing what he loves most: coaching baseball. Oakes, in his 15th season with the Gophers, continues to serve as Minnesota's pitching coach. The uninformed fan wouldn't even know about Oakes' illness – if it weren't for the surgical mask around his face.

[ Pitching coach Todd Oakes diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia ]

The mask is a preventive measure, to reduce Oakes' risk of infection from those around him who might be sick. defines acute myeloid leukemia as a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. This type of cancer usually gets worse quickly if it is not treated. It is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults.

Oakes and Minnesota are taking on Illinois in the opening game of the Big Ten tourney on BTN/BTN2Go. Track the action here.

About Brent Yarina web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.