Nothing special really jumps out at first glance looking back at the 1995-96 season for NC State’s women’s basketball team. The Wolfpack went 20-10, lost to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tourney and finished the season ranked 23rd in the nation.
But for Kay Yow, who was in her 21st season at the helm in Raleigh, that year provided a milestone. It was on this day in 1996 when Yow got her 500th career victory, as the Wolfpack defeated Georgia Tech, 68-63.
Yow had a chance to get the victory three nights earlier in Charlottesville, Va., when NC State faced Virginia. But the Wolfpack lost in what history might now judge as a fortunate defeat, since it meant that Yow could come home to Reynolds Coliseum, where NC State fans could watch the historic win.
Number 500 would prove to be just one of many Yow’s significant wins. She would go on to capture her 700th victory in 2007 with a 68-51 win over Florida State and eventually net 737 wins by the time she died of cancer in 2009. She was one of only six Division I women’s basketball coaches to win at least 700 games.