“When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.” – Kay Yow
It’s hard to believe it’s already been one year since the passing of Kay Yow. Her memory as a legendary coach and inspirational figure to thousands suffering from breat cancer has done nothing but grow in the last 365 days, proving that her influence went way beyond the court bearing her name in Reynolds Coliseum.
My personal memory of Coach Yow is limited. I only met her once. But her impact on people’s lives at NC State and elsewhere is enough for me to know how truly special she was.
Here’s a few things to help remember Coach Yow, one year later.
Ask anyone who ever crossed paths with NC State womenâ€™s basketball coach Kay Yow and they will tell you she was an amazing lady.Many knew about her coaching career and her courageous battle with cancer, which ended Saturday morning when she passed away at the age of 66. And many have honored her accomplishments by making donations to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, which was set up through the V Foundation for Cancer Research to help raise cancer awareness and find a cure.
But how much did you really know Coach Yow, the person?
In reading all the tributes over the last few days, and searching through all the files we keep on Coach Yow, Iâ€™ve learned many things I didnâ€™t previously know about Sandra Kay Yow.
And since the coach has multiple Facebook pages devoted to her, in the spirit of that social networking site, here are 25 things about Coach Yow that should be shared.
Here’s a great piece by AJ Carr in the N&O from Jan. 25, 2009.
Two dozen red and white roses were in front of the N.C. State women’s basketball office at dimly lit Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday morning.Attached to the flowers was a note to coach Kay Yow that read: “Your basketball camp meant a lot to me and so do you.” It was signed, Ann Marie, age 8.
Those words seemed to sum up the sentiments of thousands, young and old, N.C. State players past and present, fans and Wolfpack foes, and a multitude of others whose lives were touched the past 38 years by Yow, who died early Saturday after a long bout with breast cancer.
Women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, the iconic matriarch of N.C. State women’s sports and a leader in the fight against cancer, died Saturday morning at WakeMed Cary Hospital. She was 66.
Yow, who was in her 38th year of coaching at the collegiate level, will be remembered not only for her work advancing the game of women’s basketball but also for her heroic struggle against breast cancer and her efforts to raise funds for research to stop the disease. In an official statement, Athletics Director Lee Fowler expressed his sorrow at the loss of coach Yow.
“Everyone who had the privilege of knowing Kay Yow has a heavy heart today,” Fowler said. “Her record and the honors she has received over the years are evidence of her abilities as a coach, but the former student-athletes who come back year after year and bring their children to visit her are a testament to the type of person she was. She was a blessing to many people because of her strong faith. She faced every opponent, whether on the basketball court or in a hospital room, with dignity and grace. She will be greatly missed.”
Technician put together a pretty cool slideshow remembering Yow’s time at NC State. Check that out here.
Coach Yow’s goodbye video at her funeral:
Thank you Coach Yow, for everything you were to so many and everything you continue to be to so many more.
If you have a personal memory of Kay Yow please share it below.