Tribute ceremony held for Kay Yow
Posted January 28, 2009 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Friends and fans of North Carolina State women's basketball coach Kay Yow returned to the basketball court named in her honor to cheer her one more time Wednesday evening.
Yow, 66, died Saturday after battling breast cancer for more than 21 years.
"You will always be remembered as an inspiration and a role model. Thank you, Coach Yow, for being you and for sharing with us the incredible gift of your life,” NCSU chancellor James Oblinger said during the program at Reynolds Coliseum.
Tears flowed in the crowd as interim head coach Stephanie Glance spoke of Yow adjusting after the effects of chemotherapy, which caused burns to her hands. Following Glance’s words, the women's team hugged.
University athletic director Lee Fowler said Yow always had a positive attitude.
“She was a teacher as much as she was a coach and this was her classroom and when she was here she was the happiest,” Fowler said.
Fowler said Yow would only "gripe" about officiating crews that she felt made bad calls during her games.
A video featuring comments from former players and members of the coaching staff aired on the video screens. Highlights from Yow's career were also shown.
During the program, Yow's number 14 jersey and a bouquet of flowers sat on an empty chair next to the women's basketball team.
NCSU assistant coach Jenny Palmateer, who also played for Yow, described her former coach as the type of person who wrote handwritten notes to all of her former players on their birthdays and holidays.
“She had a vision and belief in us and because she knew, she had that vision and belief, it really helped us believe in ourselves,” Palmateer said.
Director of basketball operations Robin Pate recalled light-hearted memories of Yow cooking her cell phone in a pizza.
Services for Yow are scheduled on Friday. A viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary. A funeral will follow at 3 p.m.