Coach Glance Hopes to Keep It Normal for Women's Hoops
Send a Message to Coach Yow
Hoops for Hope
Three weeks ago today, the NC State women’s basketball team learned that legendary head coach Kay Yow would be taking a leave of absence to pursue treatments for her progressing breast cancer. It was devastating news, particularly since the team was about to leave on a five-day road trip to the West Coast, and Coach Yow would not be with the Wolfpack.
But after losing its first game without Coach Yow, the Wolfpack has reeled off five straight wins, under the guidance of associate head coach Stephanie Glance, with a little dose of inspiration thrown in by Coach Yow.
Coach Yow is now in her third week of chemotherapy and the team is taking a 10-day break for exams. As the team catches its breath from this unexpected turn in the season, Coach Glance talked with www.gopack.com about how the team and the staff are handling this trying time.
NC State Associate Head Coach Stephanie Glance
It has been really tough on everyone, especially the players. Well, maybe I should say it’s equally as tough on the staff. When she initially talked to the team, it was Wednesday night, before Thanksgiving and we left early Thursday morning. We were faced with the impact of learning that her cancer had spread and she was not going to be with us for a little while. It was kind of a double-barrel shot at one time.
Overall, I think the team has done very well in the midst of very difficult circumstances. This is Coach Yow’s team and I think they are a reflection of Coach Yow and how she handles obstacles and adversity. That is one of the many life lessons she teaches to her players. She always says “when life kicks you, let it kick you forward.” And she reminds us that we are not to wallow in self-pity. It’s okay to swish our feet a little but then jump out, don’t drown in self-pity. I really do think they are reflecting her in the way they are handling this. Of course, they are very saddened by her circumstances. They would rather have her here every second. They want to represent her in a class way. They want to represent her by playing hard and playing well together, by working hard academically and doing all of the things she teaches them to do.
They know all of the things that she has taught them and that is helping them get through a tough time. They know her words and they remember them. I think it gives them a lot of strength. It keeps the things that Coach Yow represents in the forefront of their minds.
As a staff, her absence is difficult. You can’t take an icon and a legend and a wonderful person, to boot completely out of the picture and expect things to be the same. We have made some changes and shifted some responsibilities to make sure everything is taken care of. Robin Pate, our director of basketball operations, took and passed the recruiting test. That allows him to go on the road recruiting for us. He also has some coaching duties. Kendra Bell, our graduate assistant, and Jason Rasnake, our video coordinator, are helping out with Rob’s director of basketball operations duties. In addition, some of the things I did with academics, recruiting and scouting have been redistributed and shifted among the other two assistant coaches, Jenny Palmateer and Trena Trice-Hill. It requires everybody on our staff to step up. People have to take on responsibilities that they may not normally have. Perhaps, we have to take on more responsibilities than usual. Everybody is doing a great job with that.
As for the players, they are focusing on their exams right now. They have a couple of days off during exams. I will say that they are also having some great practices during this week. What we are trying to do is keep the schedule as similar to what Coach Yow would do as possible. Having been mentored by her for 13 years definitely helps me to have a clear understanding of her expectations for this program and the way she likes things to run. She has taught us well and I am trying to keep things as close to what she would do as possible. Coach Yow Continues to be a source of great inspiration to all our staff and players.
The players know that Coach Yow is always listening to the games. If we have an on-line stream, then they know she is watching. Coach Yow has stopped by practice twice since her leave of absence to speak to the team and give them a hug. She also likes to talk to them by speakerphone on occasion. They miss her and they wish she were here. When they see her or hear her voice, it gives them a major boost!