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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yow steps down as N.C. State women's basketball coach for remainder of 09 season



“Stepping away from coaching is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, but I have great confidence in the experienced staff I have been working with for such a long time and the character of everyone involved in the program to respond positively to my decision.”

Not surprising news, given the string of games Yow has missed of late and the status of her health.

The question now is, "Is this it for Coach Yow for good?"

I'm inclined to believe so. Or that the chances of it are very, very good. She's fighting a very aggressive batch of cancer that has spread from her breast to her liver and her spine. The treatment regimen from here on out will be very taxing (it already has for an extended period of time). This disease will sadly take her life, sooner rather than later, and now that she's conceded coaching the remainder of this year to fight it, one wonders just how much time and energy she has left. Even with an extended period of treatment, mustering the strength to coach in 2009-2010 seems like a very tall order.

I wouldn't count her out, though. When this most recent bout began, most prognoses at the time predicted she shouldn't be with us today. That she's just now relinquishing her coaching duties tells you what an indomitable spirit Yow has. If anyone can come back from the brink and coach again, Yow can do it.

It's sad that we as State fans will ultimately see two of our greatest coaching legends claimed by cancer. It's inspiring, however, to see how they both--V and Yow--have carried themselves in the face of it. Yow embodies every ounce of the spirit Jimmy poured forth in his ESPY speech. She'll refuse to let cancer take away her heart and her mind, even if it strips away her ability to tread the same patch of court she shared with V in Reynolds.

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