Kay Yow - An Inspiration to Us All
The list of athletic accomplishments for Kay Yow is groundbreaking and extensive. Serving as the head women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State for 34 years and winning over 730 career games, Yow made her mark on college athletics. Yow guided her squads to 20 NCAA Tournaments, including 11 trips to the Sweet 16 and a trip to the 1998 Final Four. Yow’s teams also won five Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championships and four ACC tournament titles.
Kay Yow served as a galvanizing force to empower women in the world of sports. Her courage, perseverance and leadership proved instrumental in the fight for equality. Yow, a true pioneer, was a founding member and past president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), a 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, and just the fifth female coach inducted into the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Even more significant is coach Yow’s influence in the movement to end all women’s cancers. Yow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away in 2009, after facing her third bout with the disease. Yow’s courage and grace was constantly on display, as she battled cancer publically. Because of her willingness to publicize her fight, Yow rallied a nation of coaches to be a part of one team against one opponent – cancer. The number of team members continues to multiply, as more people learn about Yow’s remarkable life.
Before her death, Yow founded the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a charitable organization committed to help find a cure for all women’s cancers. The fund’s mission is to raise money for scientific research, assist the underserved, and unify people for a common cause. The PLAY 4 KAY initiative is a national fundraising effort to raise breast cancer awareness and research funds in honor of Yow’s legacy.
Saturday, February 8 - Columbia vs. Penn at 7 p.m.
Columbia Women’s Basketball is hosting a PLAY 4 KAY game on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in Levien Gymnasium. This night will be particularly meaningful, as head coach Stephanie Glance worked with Kay Yow for 15 years at North Carolina State. Glance reveres Yow as a remarkable leader, a courageous fighter and a dear friend. Come to the game and join the Columbia Women’s Basketball community as we unite to help defeat Kay Yow’s, and all of ours, worst opponent.
"When Life Kicks You, Let It Kick You Forward."
- Kay Yow