Although most people know Pat Summitt of Tennessee as the face of coaching in women’s basketball, another bright face in that illustrious group — Kay Yow — tragically succumbed to cancer this morning. She was 66 and was the women’s basketball head coach at North Carolina State University.
Yow won 737 games in her career, coached the United States Olympic Women’s Basketball team to a gold medal in 1988. Also, she won 4 ACC Championships, went to the NCAA Tournament 20 times and made it to the Final Four in 1998.
Her struggle against cancer for the past twenty years served as inspiration for not her team, but her peers in the sport, competitors on the other side of the hardwood and fans. I covered women’s basketball in 2007-2008 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and her name became familiar to me as I knew of her sister Debbie Yow — the University of Maryland’s athletic director.
As well, knowing someone who has battled cancer off an on for the past several years, you only have to admire the fight Ms. Yow showed especially being that she did it so publically and with dignity.
May the Lord be with you and your family, Kay Yow.