State News

N.C. Legislature honors coach Kay Yow

Posted April 13, 2009 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated April 13, 2009 11:10 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina lawmakers say Kay Yow was much more than North Carolina State University's basketball coach. She was a life coach for her players and people fighting cancer.

The Legislature passed a resolution Monday night recalling Yow, who died in January after a two-decade fight against breast cancer.

Yow was a Hall of Fame coach who led the Wolfpack to the Final Four.

Yow's family, players and school officials watched from the House and Senate galleries as legislators praised Yow's passion for life and her faith.

Rep. Deborah Ross of Wake County said Yow fought for parity in women's sports, and Sen. David Rouzer of Johnston County said Yow helped others believe in God.

Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 but led the U.S. Olympic women's team to a gold medal the next year. The disease recurred during the 2004-05 season, forcing to her to leave her team twice in past seasons to focus on treatment even as she raised research money and cancer awareness.

She took a four-game leave in December because she said she had very little energy and announced shortly after the New Year that she would not return this season. She soon entered WakeMed Cary and spent about a week there before she died at age 66.