Debbie Yow - Athletic Director, North Carolina State University
Debbie Yow grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, in a family with a singular love for sports. Her parents played basketball in the old AAU textile circuit, and her brother Ronnie was a scholarship football player at Clemson University. Ms. Yow’s younger sister Susan is currently in her fifth season as Head Coach at Belmont Abbey College. Kay Yow, the eldest sister in the family, coached the 1988 women’s Olympic gold medal basketball team and was a legendary coach for North Carolina State University from 1974 until her death in 2009.
A standout athlete in high school and at Elon College, Debbie Yow gained coaching experience at the high school level before moving into the college ranks. She is the first coach in NCAA history to lead three previously unranked women’s teams into the national Top 20, with the University of Kentucky, Oral Roberts University, and the University of Florida. Ms. Yow advanced to the administrative ranks for the Gator Booster fundraising group, raising $6.5 million in her first year. She subsequently served as Associate Athletic Director at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Debbie Yow was named Athletics Director at St. Louis University in 1990 and enjoyed great success during her four-year tenure. She hired Charlie Spoonhour as the men’s basketball head coach, and he subsequently earned Head Coach of the Year honors. Ms. Yow was hired to run the athletics program at the University of Maryland in 1994 and remained there for 15 years. The Terrapins enjoyed unprecedented success under her stewardship, capturing 20 national championships. She also reduced an inherited debt by over $40 million.
In 2010, Debbie Yow became Athletic Director at North Carolina State University. She wasted no time in setting goals, hiring three new head coaches, as well as a new strength and conditioning director. In the 2011-2012 season, the men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006, advancing to the round of 16. Ms. Yow expects her teams to vie for conference and national championships and for her student-athletes to succeed academically.