ACC Names Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award After Former NC State Coach Kay Yow
Feb. 26, 2009
GREENSBORO, NC – The Atlantic Coast Conference Faculty Athletics Representatives have voted unanimously to establish the Kay Yow Scholar-Athlete Award to honor the conference's top student-athlete among the league's women's basketball players as announced by the league’s Commissioner John Swofford today.
NC State head coach Kay Yow passed away on Saturday, January 24, 2009, after a long, heroic battle with breast cancer. A native of Gibsonville, N.C., Yow led the U.S. women’s basketball team to a gold medal in 1988, directed her Wolfpack club to the 1998 Final Four and, in 2002, became just the fifth female coach inducted into the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. In 34 seasons as head mentor of the Wolfpack women’s program, she compiled an NC State record of 680-325, which left her as one of only three women’s coaches at the Division I level to coach 1,000 games at one institution. Yow’s all-time collegiate record of 737-344 spanned 38 seasons, four with Elon College. She was one of just six coaches to ever compile over 700 victories and began the 2008-09 season as the most tenured coach in the active ranks.
“Kay was a very special lady who truly believed in the student-athlete,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “She was a mentor to so many and whether one of her players, an opposing coach, a friend, an associate or one who observed her grace, dignity, elegance, kindness and competitive spirit from a distance, you couldn’t help but be touched by her presence.”
The league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards were established in September 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athlete in their respective sports. Nominees for the Kay Yow Award must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average for their career as well as a 3.0 in each of the last two semesters. The Award is based on 60 percent academic achievement and 40 percent athletic achievement.
Of the 25 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards presented annually, only three others have been named in honor of an individual. The Jim Tatum award is given in the sport of football, the Skip Prosser award in men’s basketball and the Rod Myers award in men’s golf.
Yow desired strongly to be known for coaching people, rather than basketball, and understood the true meaning of the word student-athlete. Over the course of Yow’s time at State, the Pack placed 47 student-athletes on the annual ACC Honor Roll.
The Kay Yow Award will be presented at the upcoming ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, which will be held March 5-8 in the Greensboro Coliseum. This year will mark the 10th consecutive year the Coliseum has played host. For more information on ACC Women’s Basketball, go to www.theacc.com/SheCanPlay.