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Publish date: Dec 15, 2011

Donohoe to lead Kay Yow Cancer Fund

Sue Donohoe, a former NCAA championships and alliances vice president, was named the executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund on Wednesday. 

Sue Donohoe

 Donohoe will assume her role as executive director Jan. 1 and will relocate to Cary, N.C., in the coming months. She succeeds Marsha Sharp, who stepped down from the position in September.

“I look forward to providing direction and energy to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and working tirelessly to ensure that Kay’s vision is carried out,” Donohoe said. “Her goal of funding women’s cancer research continues and the women’s basketball community serves as the foundation for the Fund’s expanding efforts.”

The late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State head women’s basketball coach, was a past president and founding member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

 Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and battled the disease until her death in 2009. In her 36 years as a head coach at the college level, Yow was one of only six Division I head women’s basketball coaches to achieve 700 career victories. She was an Olympic Gold Medal head coach in 1988.

Donohoe, who has served on the fund’s board of directors, has been heavily involved with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund since its inception in 2007. After the announcement of the Fund, Donohoe helped to organize the inaugural 4Kay Run at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla.

With her leadership and support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the 4Kay Run has become a mainstay at the Women’s Final Four each year since and has raised more than $170,000 for women’s cancer research. Donohoe also played an instrumental role while at the NCAA with the Play 4Kay initiative, formerly known as the WBCA Pink Zone, assisting with developing guidelines to allow teams to support the breast cancer awareness initiative.
In October, Donohoe resigned from her position as vice president of championships and alliances after nearly 12 years of service overseeing the growth of women’s basketball and the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

Prior to taking over as vice president for women’s basketball, Donohoe served as a director for both the Division I men’s and women’s basketball championships. Donohoe joined the NCAA national office in 1999 after serving as associate commissioner at the Southland Conference. 

Donohoe, a native of Pineville, La., worked as a high school and college coach before moving into athletics administration.