Tributes to Coach Kay Yow

Submitted by Linda Pshigoda, who played for Coach Yow from 1996 - 1998.

I only played 10 games my junior year in high school, still was recruited...Made a verbal commitment my senior year and my first scrimmage back I injured my other knee.

I remember crying because I was afraid of telling Coach Yow that I was hurt. Because the next day I was supposed to sign the national letter of intent to play for her.

I called her at her home and she asked me if I was excited about tomorrow. I began to cry and say that she needed to recruit someone else because I hurt my other knee.

Coach Yow said," no that she and NC State made a commitment to me as well. Just do everything the doctors tell me and see you in August."

I will always be grateful to her in that one phone call I learned that Coach Yow was a woman of her word. Her love, her passion, her zest for people and life gave all of us a since of peace away from home. Coach Yow was the kind of person every player dreamed to have as a coach.

On my recruiting visit, Coach Yow spent a day in the corn field with me and my family. She cut corn, she rode the combine with my dad, just did everything. On that visit she proved to my dad that NC State was the perfect place to have his daughter make her second home.

My college career was one of injuries and life in the training room. I had to have knee surgeries on my right and left again and dislocated my shoulder.

Two years later, 98, Coach Yow called my dad and talked to him. She told him that she really wanted the best for me and that one day I would have to be able to play with my kids.

Coach Yow told him that she wanted me to come back after basketball and bring my family and kids to the office. It was not just a 4-year relationship it was one for the rest of your life. Coach Yow never told me to hang it up she always hoped and prayed for the best for all of her players.

Every card that I have from Coach Yow she asked if I was growing stronger in Christ!!!!!! She will be missed, If we can give/love like her...Wow that is what she would want and always show that you truly care. Love you Coach Yow.

Submitted by Claudia Kreicker Dozier who played for Yow in the 80s.

How do you put into a paragraph your heart for a person who has so filled and enlarged and impacted it that words don't really do it justice? Kay Yow is deeply embedded into my life and heart. God even saw fit to have the veins on my left hand initialed with KY. I came to Raleigh in 1980 from Indiana to play basketball for her, because I loved her heart, and knew I would thrive under her leadership. I treasure those four years of more daily time with her. Her love helped shaped who I am in the Lord. I drank her words in. In 1987 God used her to get my future husband in touch with me. We married with her there in July 1988, as that was the only month she could come, as it was the year she coached the Olympics. !n 1997, I had my first daugther, and named her Lydia Kay. Kay was there when we dedicated Lydia Kay to the Lord. As Lydia and I cried this morning and held each other, I reminded her why I named her Kay. Kay Yow walked in the love of God and was passionate about what she did. That is her legacy, and Lydia and I are a part of that.

Submitted by Lorraine Watson. Watson played on the first team Yow coached at NC State.

I was lucky to be on her first team at NCSU and it has been one of the highlights of my life. I learned so much about the game and formed bonds with teammates that continue to this day.

I will remember her for many things, but the one that always brings a smile to my face is her repeatedly saying "just one more time" in practices. She was all about things being done right. I think that's what made us all work so hard for her and it's one of the reasons we enjoyed the success that we did.

She will be missed.

Submitted by Sharon Manning. Manning played for Yow from 1987 - 1991.

It has been a tough few days for all that knew and loved Coach Yow, but it has been uplifted also to read and share all the wonderful memories that we have of her.

I once said and I will say it again, it is hard to explain to people how special Coach Yow is, not just as a coach but more importantly as a person to everyone that has ever played for her, worked for her or helped the program.

She was truly one of the rare ones in the coaching world. I can remember when I played how we had two meetings with Coach each month: one for basketball, to talk about what you needed to work on and how you could better yourself, and one about how you were doing as a person.

I mean she took the time out to really listen and to hear what was going on with your personally. She cared and she really listened. As like so many other former players, I would call Coach Yow just about everytime I have made a major or life-changing decision in my life just to get her opinion on it.

And when I would come to an obstacle in my life, I could hear her voice say, "Sharon, you just got to persevere" or some other famous saying she would say.

Coach Yow was a jokester, which many people never got to see. She loved having fun with her players.

For instance, when the ACC tournament was in Fayetteville, NC, we could always count on Coach to dance down the Soul Train Line that we would form just to see her dance.

She loved coming to the back of the bus, which was the way we used to travel to all games back then, and playing games such as Pictionary with us. She was the judge and she would always get excited when the time was about to expire.

It was priceless to see her expressions and to hear the way she would say time up.

There are so many stories I could tell, but one in particular that I shared with my fellow "sisters" (all the former players) because we are the daughters that Coach Yow never had. When I went to N.C.State, my intent was not to be a coach, but after playing for Coach Yow that is all that I wanted to be.

I wanted to teach and impact kids just like she has and had impacted my life. Because I knew that if I could do that, this world will be a better place to live in.

I know that I am blessed to have had this angel (Coach Yow) in my life and although she is physically gone, her spirit lives on in all of us that knew and loved her. She will be truly missed.

The following tribute was submitted by Lulu Eure, Class of 1978, and shared with Coach Yow's former players.

I am not sure where to begin since everyone has pretty much said what I have felt over the last week and especially since yesterday. I do feel that a part of me is gone from sight but there is a part of me that Coach Yow instilled in me that will live forever.

I am one of Coach Yow's first. Her "point guard" but I didn't start out that way. When Coach Yow decided to come to N.C. State, I was going to be a rising junior and wasn't sure what I wanted to do. So, I dropped out of school and had written her a letter that at some point I wanted to return to school but wasn't sure when.

I dropped out of school in the fall of the year she came to State and was home working on the farm. A couple of days after Christmas that year I was home for lunch and the phone rang.

It was Coach Yow.

I was shocked. She told me "All I want for Christmas is a point guard, would you consider coming back to school."

As I said, I was shocked and told her I would be in Raleigh New Year's Eve and would meet with her on New Year's Day. I truly didn't know what I was going to do so I meet with her.

The rest is history. I came back two days later and have not looked back since. I can truly say I would not be where I am today without her.

I would like to think I would have come back but that I am not sure of without Coach Yow. She has been the reason for my success in life.

She was truly a part of me from that day forward and always will be. Since that day I have been a "Wolfpack Woman."

One other thing about Coach Yow.

If you were one of Coach Yow's players, she never forgot you no matter how long it had been. Three years ago last October my mother passed away (27 years after I graduated from N.C. State) and one of the first flowers I received at my home the next day was from Coach Yow.

I do not know how she found out but she somehow knew. She also sent flowers to the grave site.

Two weeks later my father passed away and again one of the first flowers I received at my home were from Coach Yow and again flowers were sent to the grave site.

That is the type woman she was - she never forgot you and always wanted to be there for you no matter how long it had been since you played for her. She was a remarkable women and I will miss her. I will do my best to carry on her legend.

The next submissions are from Connie Rogers-Newcome, NC State, Class of 1982.

To quote from Billy Graham's book "Life Wisdom" he states: "God measures people by the small dimensions of humility and not by the greatness of their achievements or the size of their capabilities. God wants us to have compassion on those who are suffering and do what we can to help." Coach Yow's humility and compassion reached and touched thousands. Her outlook on life was one of hope, encouragement and glorifying her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Coach Yow praised Him for the accomplishments and blessings bestowed upon her. Now she sees Jesus face-to-face and is laying down at His feet any honors she's received here on earth. He must receive the credit./p>

Coach Yow was an amazing individual and it was a privilege and honor to play for her, to coach alongside her and to serve on her Foundation's Board of Directors. I met Coach Yow in 1976 and I've been blessed for 33 years to witness the positive impact she's had on thousand's of lives across the world. She's impacted no other life more than she has mine. Below are my thoughts about who this inspirational person was to me:

She lived life with purpose and meaning.
She valued friendships and respected others.
She kept her priorities straight.
She lived with moral integrety and ethical values.
She always wanted to do what was right.
She searched for truth as truth always stands the test of scrutiny.
She surrounded herself with Faith, Family, and Friends.
She was a true leader. A leader's most powerful ally is her own example.
She was a parent to many.
She was inquisitive and had a playful demeanor that was fun.
She had a great sense of humor and loved life.
She was grateful and thankful.
She was loving and giving.
She made us feel good about ourselves.

She gave guidance and direction.
She made commitments and kept them.
She had rock-solid Character -- it is what you really are.
She kept life in perspective and balance.
She led by example and her reputation reflected her love for others.
She displayed and practiced good judgment and common sense.
She epitomized a gentle, kind and sincere spirit.

She emphasized to play together as a team.
She taught others to be their best.
She possessed a passion and enthusiasm for sport.
She was loyal to her team and University.
She held her players responsible for how well we fulfilled our responsibilites and took advantage of opportunities.
She taught hard work and to give your very best. There is no substitute for hard work.
She was a competitor and was driven, but she was prepared and executed her game plan.

She was a Peacemaker.
She was honest…honest to others, to herself and to God.
She "walked the walk and talked the talk".
She was a great ambassador for Her Lord and Savior.
She had spiritual depth that was required to do the work of God.
She wanted no credit or glory….she wanted Jesus to have it all.
She understood, tolerated, overcame and outlasted adversity until the very end.
She never retired….she just went to a another place (Heaven) to coach.

Below is the poster I have hanging on my office wall. It reminds me of the life Coach Yow lived. That life lived was one of a servant…always giving back to others. May I have the courage and strength to be half the person she was. A coach, a mentor, a teacher and a true friend. She was a Godly woman who loved life and people, especially her Wolfpack Family. Rest in peace "thy good and faithful servant".

Poster of Kay Yowisms

When Life Kicks You…Let It Kick You Forward.
Don't wallow in self pity: swish your feet and get out.
It's what's inside that counts.
You can't change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails.
Shake it off and step up. Don't panic.
A kite rises against the wind.
Give and Pray for others. Count your blessings.
Accept what you cannot change.
Think positive. Never, ever give up. Don't Quit.
With God nothing is impossible.
Spirits can be lifted together.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Live one moment at a time.
Be thankful everday.

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