Kaye Cowher, the wife of ex-Steelers coach Bill Cowher and a former basketball player at North Carolina State and in the now-defunct Women's Professional Basketball League, has died of skin cancer. She was 54.
Cowher died Friday in her native North Carolina, where the family relocated at her urging during Cowher’s final year as coach in 2006, one season after the Steelers won the Super Bowl. The family had lived since in Raleigh.
“Kaye was … the foundation of our family,” Bill Cowher, now an NFL analyst with CBS, said in a statement Saturday. “Kaye was always at my side throughout my career as a player, coach, NFL analyst and, most importantly, as a parent to our three daughters.”
The Cowhers met at North Carolina State, where Bill played linebacker before beginning an NFL career. They married in 1981, after the former Kaye Young played alongside twin sister Faye in college and during a three-season pro basketball career.
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After leading North Carolina State to a 29-5 record and the first Atlantic Coast Conference women’s title in 1978, the sisters played one season with the New York Stars and two with the New Jersey Gems in a league that was a forerunner to the WNBA.
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