NC State

Doctor says Yow not ready to return

Posted January 5, 2009
Updated January 6, 2009

N.C. State is scheduled to make an announcement on Kay Yow’s future, perhaps as soon as Tuesday, and the doctor for the Wolfpack women’s basketball coach says her current energy level does not meet her standard for a return to coaching.

Yow is battling stage four breast cancer, which has spread to her liver and spine, and has missed her team's last four games.

"It's somewhat analagous to a golfer walking the course," said Dr. Mark Graham, Yow's oncologist. "She considers it part of the job to do all of the activities (involved with coaching)."

Over the course of a game, Yow may walk the equivalent of 1½ miles, Graham said. That, in combination with the energy-sapping effects of cancer treatment, is too much for her right now, he said.

Graham does not rule out a return to coaching for Yow, but cautioned: "It depends on whether she continues to improve."

NCSU spokesman Mark Kimmel said Monday that the school will make an announcement about Yow that will strictly be about this season, and not beyond. She is under contract through the 2011-2012 season.

Graham said Yow, the Pack's longtime women's basketball coach, is fighting the same combination of factors in her cancer battle that kept her off the bench for 16 games in the 2006-07 season.

Graham says Yow is dealing with three issues:

  • the extent of her disease, which is advanced
  • the demands of her treatment
  • the physical demands of being an NCAA Division I head coach.

The combination of the three is preventing Yow from coaching in much the same way as it did in 2006-07. Yow returned to the bench to lead her team to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.


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  • AlleyOops Jan 6, 2009


    All we care about is your welfare! No matter how many more games you think you can coach, or how long you want to coach, all that will matter to us is how you are doing. I wish nothing but the best of health, no matter what you are doing, coaching or not coaching!!!

  • nunnboys Jan 6, 2009

    As a Life Long Wolfpack Fan, Kay Yow is one person who truly stands for what is right for NC STATE, NCAA, and Life in General, God Bless Her and her family and get better Kay, we miss you ! Hoke County NC

  • LoneWolf72 Jan 6, 2009

    This is terrible news and I am deeply saddened. As someone who has had family members suffer and die from both cancer and liver disease, and while not meaning to sound negative, this is very disheartening and deeply troubling news to find that the cancer has spread to the liver and spine. Of course, I too believe Coach Yow will continue to fight and never ever give up...thoughts and prayers are with Coach Yow and her family.

  • dreamin23 Jan 6, 2009

    Dear Coach Yow,I am going through stage 4 cancer and treatments myself,I know how weak chemo can make you.God bless you.Isaiah 53;5 (By his wounds we are healed)Keep up the faith!

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 6, 2009

    Just imagine how much more advanced our society would be if we valued & supported scientists as much (or more!) as sports teams. What's the salary of a top scientist compared to the multi-million $ contracts of people who play with rubberballs. ...all those cancer-curing, drug-creating, environment-cleaning brainiacs...working so very hard in school to defend their dissertations and obtain phd's... these are society's true heroes and should be the ones that we strive to emulate.

    And for all of the praying people here...does your god really work that way? Do ya think s/he's gonna care about sports when 30,000 kids starve to death EVERY DAY on this planet?

    Can we all just reevaluate our priorities and thought processes a little? Please.

  • james1077 Jan 6, 2009

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, coach Yow. Stay strong and do what's right for you and your family, whatever that may be.

  • tgw Jan 6, 2009

    God bless you-Coach! You are an inspiration to many here in the Carolinas and in college basketball. Keep up the good fight. We all appreciate you and the grace you have shown in the fight for your life.

    ACC Community-and especially Wolfpack nation- we need to pray for Coach Yow and her family every day!!!

  • Lady Justice Jan 6, 2009

    I love Coach Yow and admire her courage. My prayers are with you Coach Yow!

    But, can we not give her a little privacy now? Is it really necessary to post every game she misses because she is sicK?

  • Hip-Shot Jan 6, 2009

    Sometimes things are best left unsaid. Coach Yow is in a lot of people's prayers and we hope for the good lord to grace her, and pray for the best. He alone has the power to heal all.

  • Cesium Mojo Jan 5, 2009

    I agree that Coach Yow is a class act, a great coach, and a credit to NCSU in general and humanity in general. That being said, I believe she should step aside for now and focus on getting well. If she beats the cancer, the door should be open for a return, if she likes. She has nothing left to prove, and her first responsibility is to herself and her well-being. Her illness is becoming a distraction - through no fault of her own - and that should also be a consideration with respect to her coaching status.




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