Skip to main content

NC State News

Honoring a Legend

In 2002, Kay Yow became just the fifth female coach inducted into the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The NC State Student Government is about halfway towards its goal of raising $85,000 to create a memorial for late women’s basketball coach Kay Yow.

The garden, called the Coaches’ Corner, will eventually honor several coaches who have built championship teams at NC State. But Yow, who died last January after a long and public battle with cancer, was the students’ choice to be the first honoree.

The garden, just outside the doors of storied Reynolds Coliseum (on the Talley Student Center side), will include a bust of Yow, created by Greensboro sculptor James Barnhill. The student-led initiative includes plans for a neatly landscaped entrance and enough room to honor multiple individuals.

Jeffrey Johnson, the chair of the Kay Yow Memorial Committee, said Yow was chosen because of the deep personal connection the students had with the beloved coach, who won more than 700 games during her 34-year career with the Wolfpack.

“She is still very much on everyone’s minds here, as far as the students,” Johnson said. “We were out on the Brickyard [Wednesday] selling T-shirts and we raised about $500. Just about everybody stopped by and said how glad they were to see this happen.”

Johnson and other students have been raising money by selling pink Nike Kay Yow T-shirts at women’s basketball games and on campus. But the bulk of the funds raised so far came from private donations, through the Kay Yow Memorial Fund set up through NC State’s University Development.

“We’re students – we’re broke,” Johnson said. “So we are looking to alumni to help us fund the project.”

To view detailed drawings about the project or to make an on-line donation, go to http://coachescorner.ncsu.edu. All funds raised above the $85,000 goal will be split between the WBCA/Kay Yow Cancer Fund through the V Foundation for Cancer Research and the Wolfpack Club’s Kay Yow Memorial Fund.

Landscaping and construction on the project have begun, Johnson said, and should be completed by April. The garden will include two flowering trees in the entranceway, a sitting area surrounded by shrubbery and the bust of Yow.

Johnson said future classes will begin raising money to continue the project.

“It is intended to be the Coaches’ Corner, to honor all the coaches who lived up to her standards of performance on and off the court for the university and the community as a whole,” Johnson said. “We all know we have several coaches who have lived up to that. The next step is to decide which one goes next.

“They will set up the fund for that and get the ball rolling.”