Rest In Peace, Kay Yow

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sad news to pass along this morning, as North Carolina State women's hoops coach Kay Yow died this morning from her second bout with breast cancer.

Yow started her college coaching career at Elon back in the 70s, and then moved to NC State in 1975, coaching not only women's hoops but volleyball and softball as well. She was hired by the AD in order to help the university comply with the sweeping changes mandated by Title IX, but then became so much more than that to the school and her sport.

Her achievements are about as good as you can get without grabbing a title in your sport: more than 700 games won in a long career, coaching the U.S. women's team to a gold medal in 1988, and a trip to the Final Four in 1998 -- all of this made her one of only a few women's hoops coaches in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Throughout, she fought against cancer in the late 80s, and became a spokesperson for the cause of battling the disease, much like her counterpart in the 80s, Jim Valvano.

Yow was another symbol of the power of women's sports, obscured by Pat Summitt sometimes in the mainstream eye, but valuable all the same. She was 66 years old.


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