Interview with Debbie Yow, February 11, 2021
Project: University of Kentucky Athletics: Women's Basketball Oral History Project
Interview SummaryAs the first full-time women's basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, the position launched Debbie Yow into becoming the first full-time coach of women's basketball in the United States. 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 Keyword1976-1980 (Years at University of Kentucky) Sue Feamster Dr. Otis Singletary Gloria Singletary Bernard "Skeeter" Johnson 1976-1977 (Basketball season) 1977-1978 (Basketball season) 1978-1979 (Basketball season) 1979-1980 (Basketball season) Mimi Porter Joe B. Hall Rupp Arena Memorial Coliseum Seaton Hall Athletic directors Female athletic directors Kay Yow Susan Yow Sex discrimination Gender discrimination Gender Equity in athletics Equality of opportunity Equality Equal treatment standards Recruitment Pat Head Summitt Media coverage Coaching styles Gender roles Practices Female head coaches Women athletic directors Women head coaches UK women's basketball head coaches
Interview LC SubjectBasketball Basketball coaches--Kentucky Basketball players Basketball players--Kentucky Basketball teams Basketball--Coaching Coaches (Athletics) Coaching (Athletics) College administrators College athletes College facilities. College sports--Kentucky College sports. Discrimination in sports Sexism. Universities and colleges--Administration. Universities and colleges--Finance University of Kentucky University of Kentucky--Basketball Women basketball players Women in higher education. Women--Education (Higher) College athletes--Recruiting
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Interview UsageInterviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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.
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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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