Alabama's Kristy Curry is the 2014 Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award recipient. (photo courtesy Alabama sports information)
University of Alabama women’s basketball coach Kristy Curry has been named the 2014 recipient of the Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The award was established in 2008 to honor the late Kay Yow, former women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University. It recognizes a women’s basketball coach who, over the course of his or her career, has coached according to Biblical principles, and to the heart, body and mind of the athlete.
“Coach Yow represented everything that is good about coaching,” Curry said. “She impacted young women and their futures in the most positive way possible, both on and off the court. I feel like we all have a responsibility as coaches to honor her legacy in our daily lives and have that same type of impact on young women. I am truly humbled and blessed to accept this award.”
Curry was nominated for the award by Brandi Cantrell, an FCA staff member who serves as the women’s athletics chaplain at Texas Tech and worked with Curry’s teams before Curry joined the Alabama staff in May, 2013.
“Coach Curry is not only a successful basketball coach, but more importantly, she inspires, teaches, and exemplifies to her players what it means to be a daughter of the King,” Cantrell said. “What makes her so special is her love for the Lord and how she is using that to build eternal legacies within her basketball program and in the lives of her staff and players. Coach Curry’s humility and willingness to serve others truly sets her apart as a leader and brings Christ to all those she encounters.”
Curry took over the Crimson Tide program prior to the 2013-14 season, and began the process of turning around a program looking for respect in one of the toughest women’s basketball conferences in NCAA Division I. In her first season in Tuscaloosa, Curry’s Alabama team posted a five-game improvement in Southeastern Conference play.
She brought 14 years of major college head coaching experience with her to Alabama, having spent the previous seven seasons at Texas Tech, and the seven years before that at Purdue. In all, her teams have appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments and advanced to one Final Four, as far as the Elite Eight twice and reached the Sweet 16 four times. They’ve also appeared in three Women’s National Invitation Tournaments and posted nine 20-win seasons.
Previous winners include Florida State's Sue Semrau (2013), Kansas State's Deb Patterson (2012), Ashland's Sue Ramsey (2011), College of Charleston's Nancy Wilson (2010), Nevada's Jane Albright (2009) and the award's namesake, Kay Yow of North Carolina State (2008).
The award will be presented this Sunday at the FCA Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award Breakfast at the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association convention in Nashville.