Yow is a native of Gibsonville, North Carolina and is a 1976 graduate of Elon College. In her junior season at Elon, she captained the team and earned KODAK All-America honors. It marked the inaugural season that a KODAK All-America Team was selected for women's basketball. Prior to her final season of collegiate basketball, she accompanied her sister, Kay, to North Carolina State and played her final season of collegiate basketball for the Wolfpack. In one season at NC State, Yow became the first Wolfpack women's basketball player ever to be named to the KODAK All-America Team, marking the second time Yow earned the honor. She led the team in scoring (19.4 ppg), rebounding (11.9 rpg), field goal percentage (.584) and free throw percentage (.832). Yow also captained the team.
Yow has 24 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, having tackled rebuilding situations at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (1993-97), Kansas State University (1990-93), Drake University (1986-90), East Tennessee State University (1978-86) and Providence College (2002-05). In 2007 she became the head coach at Belmont Abbey College.
Prior to arriving at Providence, she spent four seasons in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), serving as the top assistant coach for three seasons with the Cleveland Rockers and one season with the Charlotte Sting. After she left Providence, she became an assistant coach with the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.
Yow also has extensive experience coaching USA Basketball teams. In 1981, she was an assistant coach for the USA South Team that won a gold medal at the Olympic Sports Festival. In addition, Yow served as the head coach for the South squad that took the gold medal in the 1983 Olympic Sports Festival. Her USA Basketball experience reached its pinnacle when she served as an assistant coach for the US team that won the gold medal in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
Yow comes from a long line of success in the world of collegiate athletics. She is the sister of Hall-of-Famer and longtime North Carolina State Head Coach, Kay Yow, and University of Maryland Athletic Director, Deborah Yow.
On September 25, 2002, Coach Yow was selected to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) 50th Anniversary Women's Basketball Team. The 51-member team was voted on by a 27-member, blue-ribbon committee that was selected by the league's 50th Anniversary Committee. North Carolina led all league schools with 11 members on the Golden Anniversary team, while Yow's alma mater, North Carolina State, was second with nine honorees.
As a member of the Anniversary Team, Yow joins such players as Dawn Staley (Virginia '92), Alana Beard (Duke '02), Sylvia Crawley (North Carolina '94), Marion Jones (North Carolina '97), Chasity Melvin (NC State '98), Georgia Schweitzer (Duke '01) and Deanna Tate (Maryland '89). Yow's teammates on the 50th Anniversary Team all enjoyed stellar collegiate careers, and many are still playing professionally in the WNBA and overseas.
The Yow family forms a veritable dynasty in women's basketball. Parents Hilton and Lib Yow played at Gibsonville High School and used their skills to land jobs during the Great Depression at a textile mill with competitive industrial league teams. Hilton Yow's cousin, Virgil Yow, was a renowned coach at High Point College and for the AAU national champion Hanes Hosiery Girls.
Her two sisters are also active in collegiate sports. Deborah Yow is currently the Athletic Director at the University of Maryland, College Park. Kay Yow is the head coach at North Carolina State University.