It is my practice never to post the same content twice and to keep my posts rather short, but today it is fitting to break both those protocols in honor of a person who with just a small number others pioneered the game of college women basketball. It is with much sadness that I share that Coach Yow died today after an extended battle with cancer and I know there are thousands like me who have Coach and all her family and friends in our thoughts tonight. She was a remarkable person both on and off the court. Few people are so special... who are motivated to do something not by what they will get, but by what they might give to so many others!
In honor of Coach, please read some of my favorite quotes from Coach Yow (taken from a post I made back in 07 and attached at the bottom of this post), but first I thought you might like to read a few of the comments made today about Coach:Yow coached this program for 34 seasons -- from the birth of modern-day women's college basketball to a time when fans now expect to see several televised games a week.... Who else was this successful at this high a level while always being universally liked? Who else inspired only admiration and never ire in her foes? Even her fiercest adversary -- Cancer, with the capital C -- would have expressed boundless admiration, were it an entity that could speak.- Mechelle Voepel, ESPN
She has instilled in each of us what it means to be winners as people, and if we are winners as people then we will have our best shot at winning on the court. I know I speak for all former and current players and staff when I say with a swell of heartfelt emotion that she will truly be missed each moment of everyday. - Stephanie Glance, Close friend and Asst Coach
The great thing about her is that she had the courage to fight her battle in public, and as a result she not only fought for herself, but for everybody that has cancer, will have cancer, and for the families who are involved. She created an amazing awareness for that fight and set such a good example, especially in this area with Jimmy (Valvano) as a male and for Kay to do that, I don't think any area of the country has brought an awareness to the fight against cancer like this one. God bless her - she was a terrific lady. A fighter 'til the end.- Mike Krzyzewsk, Duke men's coach
Kay Yow has been a pioneer for women’s basketball, she is using every ounce of her breath to fulfill what she feels is her purpose in this life – to help young people through her ability to coach basketball. - Sylvia Hatchell, UNC women's coach
We all have gained wisdom and gleaned inspiration from the way she lives her life spiritually, the way she lives her life as a professional and how she has the ability to make a difference in someone’s life just by taking the time to be there for them. - Debbie Antonelli, former Wolfpack player.
"I had two players from Tennessee on that team in Lea Henry and Cindy Noble, and I yelled at them constantly because I knew I could and they could take it. One day, we were walking back from our practice gym and Kay said, very calmly and quietly, 'Well, you know, Pat, I just wonder if you've really thought about how much more that Cindy Noble and Lea Henry are going to learn from you.' Then she said, 'I think they're both trying really hard and they both want to please you, but how much more do you think they can possibly do?' I remember shaking my head and saying, 'Good point.' And I backed off both of them. She was right. She made me a better coach just in subtle ways, in things she'd say to me." - Pat Summit, Tennessee Coach
Friday, March 30, 2007
The NC State Alumni Magazine has an excellent interview with Kay Yow, head basketball coach of the Lady Wolfpack Basketball Team! This is a must read. In a sport where players often grandstand and slam dunks are what we see on the highlight reel... Kay Yow has quietly won over 700 games, led a team to gold in the Olympics, and accumulated numerous championships. And she did it all with humility and grace. Her latest honor, 2007 Naismith Women's Outstanding Contribution to Basketball, is no surprise!
Just to share a bit of what she gives to us all.. check out these quotes by Coach Yow:
On making a little more money by changing jobs:
"Bloom where you are planted"
On the importance of perspective:
"I don't think I've ever won a championship and didn't think, Count the towels" - (Even when you win, you have to count the towels you brought and make sure you take them home..
On leading others:
"Each Person is a unique individual. The same motivations don't work for every single person."
"The more you know them, the more you can help them."
"In the end, it is the relationships that matter. They are far above anything else because they continue for a lifetime."
On her battle with cancer...
"Don't let the urgent get in the way of the important"
"...it is a tough time, but roses are still out there. And don't wallow in self-pity."
"Run the race strong and press on..."
Kay.. run the race strong.. press on.. we will be with you... pulling for you along the way!