RALEIGH — It took a long time, but N.C. State'sKay Yowreached a milestone. The women's basketball coach has been on the sidelines calling plays for 30 years. Thursday night, she picked up her 600th win.
Yow's 600 wins span a 30-year career -- 25 of those at N.C. State. It is understandable that the coaching legend has trouble remembering her first win.
"It's been a long time ago. Maybe 600 wins is a sign of longevity," she says.
Longevity is an understatement. Yow coached in her 843rd college game Thursday as N.C. State defeated the Temple Owls 71-64. Yow is now one of only five coaches to reach 600 wins.
"You can get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. You are going to have mountain peaks and you are going to have valleys," she says. "When you love something and you have a passion for it, it is a special kind of work if you can even call it work."
The love she has for the game extends to her players and coaches. In fact, Yow says calling the next win her 600th is stretching the truth.
"I am a part of the 600, but I am not the 600," she says.
Yow says no victory -- even her 600th -- will ever match up to State's win over UConn March 22, 1998. The victory propelled Yow into her first and only Final Four.
Moments like that one fuel her passion for coaching and diminish any thoughts of retirement.
"As long as you have your passion and you are really into it, then you can stay with it," she says.
Because Kay Yow has affected so many lives in such a positive way, her coaching achievements go much deeper than 600 wins.