Interview with Debbie Yow, February 11, 2021

Project: University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Debbie Yow was the first full-time coach of women's basketball in the USA as the University of Kentucky's women's basketball first full-time coach. Yow shares her experience at UK between 1976-1980 and also some of her experience post-UK as the first female athletic director at a Power Five school in the USA.

In this interview, Yow discusses her childhood and her family's interest in athletics, including her sisters Susan and Kay who each had their own careers in basketball. She talks about her college experience and about what it was like to play on a college basketball team with her sister Susan and their sister Kay as their coach. She talks about coaching high school basketball before being hired as the first female full-time head coach at the University of Kentucky. She describes each season from 1976 until she left UK in 1980. She discusses specific players and games, the team's records, recruiting, her coaching style and practices, media coverage of the team, and playing in Rupp Arena for the first time. Throughout the interview she discusses the relationship between UK men's and women's basketball, gender and sports, women in leadership positions, and societal pressures on women. She discusses her decision to leave the University of Kentucky after getting married and gives a brief overview of her post-UK career.

Interview Accession

2021oh0102_ukabskw0005

Interviewee Name

Debbie Yow

Interviewer Name

Valerie R. Still

Interview Date

2021-02-11

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Yow, Debbie Interview by Valerie R. Still. 11 Feb. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Yow, D. (2021, February 11). Interview by V. R. Still. University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Yow, Debbie, interview by Valerie R. Still. February 11, 2021, University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7115rw1fxxs