2019 Kay Yow Award

April 8, 2019


MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Missouri State’s Kellie Harper is the recipient of the 2019 Kay Yow award, presented annually to the top coach in Women’s Division I college basketball.

Now in her sixth season at Missouri State, Harper led the Lady Bears to a 25-10 record and a trip to the Sweet 16. The 25 wins were the most since 2005 and it was the first Sweet 16 appearance since 2001.

After a 1-7 start the Lady Bears completely turned their season around, winning 24 of their last 27 games. Missouri State went 9-0 in MVC road games for the first time ever and won a school-record 10 consecutive road games overall.

After finishing second in the Missouri Valley Conference, Harper’s team beat Drake in the conference tournament championship game to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The win over Drake was the first of three consecutive wins over AP Top 25 opponents. It’s the first time in school history that they had beaten ranked teams in three straight games.

The Kay Yow Award was established last year to honor the Division I women's head coach who embodies not only a winning spirit but who also displays great character both on and off the court.

Yow was a coaching legend who led NC State to 737 wins during her 34 seasons at the school. She was wildly successful in every forum in which she coached, leading gold medal winners at the 1981 World University Games, the 1986 Goodwill Games, 1986 World Championship Games and the 1988 Olympic Games.

 pays tribute to one of the true icons of women’s college basketball with the the Kay Yow Award, which is presented annually to the Division I women’s head coach who embodies a winning spirit while displaying great character, on and off the court.
Yow, who lost a long battle with cancer in 2009, became the sixth head coach in the history of Division I women’s basketball to reach the 700-win plateau, finishing with a sterling record of 737–344 in her 34 seasons at NC State. She was the first women’s coach in ACC history to eclipse 600 wins at the same school and directed NC State to 19 top-three finishes in the ACC standings. Her 1997-98 squad advanced all the way to the Final Four in Kansas City.
She was wildly successful in every forum in which she coached, leading gold medal winners at the 1981 World University Games, the 1986 Goodwill Games, 1986 World Championship Games and the 1988 Olympic Games. As an assistant, Yow was on the Olympic gold medal winning 1984 coaching staff in Los Angeles. In addition, she was an assistant on the gold medal-winning teams at the 1979 World University Games, the 1983 Pan American Games and the 1984 R. Williams Jones Cup.
The recipient of of the 2021 award will be announced on March 31.

2021: Jarrod Olson, California Baptist
2020: Brian Giorgis, Marist

2019: Kellie Harper, Missouri State

2018: Sue Guevara, Central Michigan

2017: Maureen Magarity, New Hampshire
2016: Brian Boyer, Arkansas State
2015: Tricia Fabbri, Quinnipiac
2014: David Six, Hampton
2013: Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, Albany
2012: Karl Smesko, FGCU
2011: Matt Bollant, Green Bay
2010: Connie Yori, Nebraska

The Kay Yow award advisory committee is a 25 member panel, consisting of current and former coaches, athletic administrators, national media members and staff members. Former Winston Salem State head coach and current staff member Dee Stokes is the chairwoman for the awards committee. 
The Kay Yow award is presented annually to the top division I head coach.
March: Finalists for Kay Yow Award announced
April: Kay Yow National Coach of the Year announced


Debbie Antonelli College Basketball Analyst
Gary Blair Texas A&M University
Pam Borton Former Division I Coach
Joanne Boyle University of Virginia
Nikki Caldwell Louisiana State University
Kristy Curry University of Alabama
Lin Dunn Former Coach / General Manager
Stephanie Glance Columbia University
Shimmy Gray University of Nebraska
Dru Hancock Big 12 Conference
Dan Hughes San Antonio Silver Stars
Wendy Larry Atlantic 10 Conference
Angela Lento
Joe McKeown Northwestern University
Cristy McKinney Elon University
Dr. M. Dianne Murphy Columbia University
Carolyn Peck ESPN
Debbie Ryan Former Division I Coach
Marsha Sharp Kay Yow/WBCA Fund
Dawn Staley University of South Carolina
Dee Stokes Former Division I Coach
Holly Warlick University of Tennessee
Debbie Yow North Carolina State
Ronnie Yow Yow/WBCA Fund
Susan Yow Queens University


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