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.