John Beilein’s Michigan basketball team isn’t ranked.
But Beilein and his charity are No. 1.
As part of ESPN’s Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge, in which fans vote for a coach, with the winner getting $100,000 toward his cause of choice, Beilein is the leader after the first quarter.
Voting for the quarter ended Sunday, and Beilein received 37 percent — well ahead of second-place Thad Matta of Ohio State, at 12 percent.
“They don’t give trophies after the first quarter,” Beilein said Tuesday. “So we’ve got three more quarters to play here to be able to win.”
Beilein’s charity is close to folks in Ann Arbor. He’s playing for the ChadTough Foundation, named after the 5-year-old boy who captured the hearts of the nation during his fight against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Chad Carr, the grandson of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, died of the inoperable brain tumor in November.
The cause hits especially close to home for Beilein, whose former player at West Virginia, Scott Ungerer, had a son Luke, 3, who died Jan. 14 after battling the rare form of brain cancer.
Ungerer and family have started Luke’s Army to raise money for the cause.
“It seems like every week, I’m hearing more,” Beilein said. “It’s something I really want to support.”
Fans can continue voting for Beilein at ESPN.com. The next “quarter” of voting ends Feb. 14.