banner
NFL

Kaye Cowher, wife of former Steelers coach, dies at age 54

Posted July 24, 2010
Updated July 25, 2010

Kaye Cowher, the wife of ex-Steelers coach Bill Cowher and a former basketball player at North Carolina State and in the now-defunct Women's Professional Basketball League, has died of skin cancer. She was 54.

Cowher died Friday in her native North Carolina, where the family relocated at her urging during Cowher's final year as coach in 2006, one season after the Steelers won the Super Bowl. The family had lived since in Raleigh.

"Kaye was such a loving and compassionate person and she was the foundation of our family," Bill Cowher, now an NFL analyst with CBS, said in a statement Saturday. "Kaye was always at my side throughout my career as a player, coach, NFL analyst and, most importantly, as a parent to our three daughters."

He added: "Kaye was the rock that we could all lean on in the tough times. She was looked up to by so many people and I cannot say enough about what Kaye meant to our family."

Kaye Cowher and other family members were often seen cheering from a private box at Steelers home games during Bill Cowher's 15 seasons as coach from 1992-2006. The Steelers lost four AFC championship games - all at home - before finally winning the Super Bowl, and Kaye Cowher was repeatedly seen consoling her husband following those defeats.

Steelers president Art Rooney II said: "Kaye was a very private person who was very devoted to her family. Kaye made many friends in our organization and our community."

The Cowhers met at North Carolina State, where Bill played linebacker before beginning an NFL career. They married in 1981, after the former Kaye Young played alongside twin sister Faye in college and during a three-season pro basketball career.

After leading North Carolina State to a 29-5 record and the first Atlantic Coast Conference women's title in 1978, the sisters played one season with the New York Stars and two with the New Jersey Gems in a league that was a forerunner to the WNBA. During the twins' WPBL careers, they filmed a Wrigley Doublemint gum commercial.

At the time of her death, Kaye Cowher served on the North Carolina State Board of Visitors, which advises the school's chancellor and board of trustees. The Cowhers returned to Raleigh even before Bill Cowher's NFL coaching career ended partly because of their close ties to the university and the friends they made during college.

Besides her husband, Kaye Cowher is survived by daughters Meagan, Lauren and Lindsay. Meagan and Lauren played basketball at Princeton and Lindsay plays at Wofford.

A private funeral service will be held Monday in North Carolina.

45 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • ramndfam4 Jul 25, 2010

    To the Cowher family, My deepest condolences for your loss. May your fond memories help you through these times.

  • rhowerton Jul 25, 2010

    So Sorry God Needed Her The Most. May God Bless & Look Over The Family At This Time Of sorrow

  • VikingTom Jul 25, 2010

    This is terrible news. R.I.P. and God bless coach and family

  • RedStatesManWatts Jul 25, 2010

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cowher family during this difficult time. Our family are lifetime Steelers and Wolfpack fans and it is a loss to our family. May God continue to be with the Cowher family and bless them as always.

  • GOPACK80 Jul 25, 2010

    Sounds like melanoma quickly spread to her brain.
    This is incredibly sad for the Cowher family.
    RIP Kaye.
    ============================================================
    ============

    5-26-2010,
    "I think that I mentioned before that the company that I work for has had the landscape contract for Bill Cowher's house here in Raleigh. Unfortunately in my position I might get around to these jobs like 1-2 times a year sometimes more...

    Well this time last year I remember talking to both of them and everything seemed to be fine. New house, New Dog and loving North Ridge country club life.

    Well I was there just the other day to find out that Kaye was suffering from cancer. She is battling it out but man I think she suffered some adverse affects from the Chemo treatments which appear as if she had suffered from a stroke.

    Honestly it kinda scared me and it really makes you think how fragile life is and how it seems as if we are all just a step away from an accident/sickness ect... "

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 24, 2010

    Wondering if she was diagnosed prior to Bill resigning as the Steelers Coach. May be the main reason he resigned. I'll give them credit for keeping it under wraps so the fasmily could deal with it in private.

  • monkeyboy Jul 24, 2010

    steeler nation is in mourning. so sorry for your loss, bill.

    the flag flies at half staff for kaye...

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Jul 24, 2010

    So sorry to hear of this. Praying for the family as she was so young and full of life.

  • fhunt1031 Jul 24, 2010

    Coach, You have my deepest sympathy, and i am there is alot of hang in theresteeler fans mourning you loss.

  • Deacons Jul 24, 2010

    I am very sorry to hear of this. Yes, I am aware of the various ways to get skin cancer. I have to go to my Dermatologist every 6 months to have places frozen and have some biopsies taken. It really does make me sick when I see these young girls who think they look so good because they have a dark tan. I always think, one day they will regret it.

More...

 

 

  • Hoops Headquarters: Run for Redemption

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer: Southampton vs. Bournemouth

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Shell Houston Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Figure Skating Championships

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Boston @ Chicago

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: NCFC at San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC @ Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NHL: Canes v. Columbus

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: NCFC at San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm

  • NASL: NCFC at Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm

NBA Scoreboard
Minnesota115Final
Indiana114
Milwaukee118Final
Charlotte108
Phoenix794:05
4th Qtr
Atlanta85
Miami893:14
4th Qtr
Detroit88
Philadelphia1002:52
4th Qtr
Brooklyn98
Golden State765:06
3rd Qtr
Houston72
Denver 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Portland 
Washington 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
LA Lakers 
NHL Scoreboard
Nashville1Final
Boston4
Ottawa21:45
OT
Philadelphia2
Detroit1Final
Carolina4
Buffalo1Final
Columbus3
Winnipeg31:48
OT
New Jersey3
Florida113:50
3rd
Toronto3
Dallas111:26
3rd
Montreal2
Washington32nd Int
Minnesota2
Los Angeles12:49
1st
Edmonton1
Anaheim 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Vancouver 
NY Rangers 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
San Jose 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Rochester 11:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET7:05 GMT
Syracuse 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 11:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET7:05 GMT
Buffalo 
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Lehigh Valley 
Toledo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Indianapolis 
Norfolk 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Charlotte 
Columbus 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Louisville 
Durham 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Gwinnett 
Puerto Rico Open (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1D. Points-20F
2tR. Goosen-18F
2tB. DeChambeau-18F
2tB. Lunde-18F
5tS. Saunders-17F
5tP. Uihlein-17F
5tW. Kim-17F
8tJ. Henry-16F
8tC. Stroud-16F
10tM. Flores-15F
View Full Leaderboard
 
Kia Classic (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Lee-20F
2tA. Ernst-14F
2tS. Ryu-14F
4tM. Hur-12F
4tK. Icher-12F
4tC. Kerr-12F
4tS. Park-12F
4tG. Piller-12F
9S. Feng-11F
10I. Chun-10F
View Full Leaderboard
 
WGC Match Play (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
JOHNSON v Rahm181 up
Tanihara v HAAS172 and 1
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Mar. 28
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Fourth Round
F. Fognini6 6    
D. Young0 4    
(2) K. Nishikori6 4 6   
F. Delbonis3 6 3   
(13) J. Sock6 6    
J. Donaldson2 1    
(10) T. Berdych6 7    
A. Mannarino3 5    
(5) R. Nadal6 77    
N. Mahut4 64    
(4) R. Federer77 77    
(14) R. Bautista A65 64    
(1) S. Wawrinka6 2 1   
(16) A. Zverev4 6 6   
(8) D. Goffin 
(12) N. Kyrgios 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Mar. 28
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Quarterfinals
(2) K. Pliskova6 6    
(26) M. Lucic-Baro3 4    
(12) C. Wozniacki6 6    
L. Safarova4 3