Kay Yow, 1942-2009
Kay Yow, longtime coach of the NC State women's basketball team, passed away this morning at the age of 66 after a 12-year battle with breast cancer.
Despite her illness, she earned over 700 victories, coached the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team to a gold medal in 1988; won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships; earned 20 NCAA tournament bids; and reached the Final Four in 1998. In 2002, she was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002, and in 2007, NC State dedicated "Kay Yow Court" at Reynolds Coliseum. Along the way, she fought to raise awareness of the disease and raise funds for cancer research, which earned her the inaugural Jimmy V ESPY Award for Perseverance in 2007. In all that time, cancer only kept her from coaching twice: a 16-game leave during the 2006-2007 season, and earlier this month, when after missing four games, she announced she would not be returning for the rest of the season. She was always the epitome of class and grace, and her drive and determination to succeed despite increasing odds against her make her an inspiration far beyond the world of sports.
R.I.P., Kay--and thank you.