Coach Yow To Step Down For Remainder of 2008-09 Season
Jan. 6, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. (Courtesy of GoPack.com) – NC State director of athletics Lee Fowler and head women’s basketball coach Kay Yow announced jointly today that Yow is stepping away from her coaching duties for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Associate head coach Stephanie Glance will serve as interim head coach.
“Stepping away from coaching is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, but I have great confidence in the experienced staff I have been working with for such a long time and the character of everyone involved in the program to respond positively to my decision,” said Yow.
Yow’s current health situation simply will not allow her to give the energy necessary to coach her team at the standard she feels it deserves. She will revisit this decision no later than the end of the current 2008-09 campaign.
"The ability of any patient with stage four breast cancer to continue at her chosen occupation depends on symptoms from the disease itself, symptoms that can result from the treatments, and the physical and psychological demands of the job,” said Dr. Mark Graham, Yow’s longtime oncologist. “Back in late 2006 and early 2007, and again now, the balance of all these factors has not allowed Coach Yow to coach up to her high standards. It is my best advice to her at this time to focus on her disease and its treatment, which she will need to do for the foreseeable future."
Yow, 66, has missed the last four Wolfpack games due to an extremely low energy level that has lingered now since she was absent for the game at Columbia in New York on Dec. 22.
“Our number one concern right now is the health and well-being of Coach Yow,” said Fowler. “I speak for our entire athletic department and say we support the decision that she has made and our thoughts and prayers are with her as she continues her fight. Just like a few years back, I hope that all Wolfpackers continue to support our women’s basketball program as strongly as ever.”
Yow took a 16-game leave of absence after her breast cancer reappeared in November of 2006. She returned in January of that season and inspired a determined Wolfpack club to a run into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
She was originally diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1987 and has been a public figure in the battle against the disease ever since.
Coach Yow played an integral role along with The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in partnering with The V Foundation for Cancer Research to launch the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund last December.
“Even though I don’t feel well enough to coach, I’m hopeful to feel well enough to attend some ACC games and show my support for the team as well as NC State University,” added Yow.
“I appreciate the thoughts and prayers of so many people and I’m grateful for the outpouring of support,” said Yow.
Yow has coached 34 seasons at NC State and has recorded 737 victories in her Hall of Fame career – the sixth-most in NCAA women’s basketball history.