The First 4Kay Golf Classic, with Kay and For Kay

Blog post written by Marsha Sharp

Marsha Sharp

Marsha Sharp, retired head women’s basketball coach at Texas Tech University and lifetime board member of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Sharp also served as executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund from 2009 until 2011.

I think the inaugural Kay Yow Golf Tournament in 2008 will always be the favorite one for all of us who were there. The reason is obvious, because it was the only one we were able to share with Kay.

From the very first conversation about the tournament, it was apparent how excited she was about gathering as many coaches, and other folks who loved our game, to have as great a time as possible for a cause so close to our hearts.  Kay was interested in every detail; she wanted to make sure that we took good really good care of everyone.

One of my favorite directives she gave to me was to make sure there was enough shrimp – so everyone could have as many as they wanted.  She wanted it to be a party everyone would remember forever.

We were so engaged in trying to get people to the tournament that we didn’t spend much time with auction items the first year.  No problem for Kay.  She had brought a bag full of basketballs and other items and had Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma, Bill Self and Tubby Smith, among others, sign them on the spot.  While they were signing, she was auctioning.  Who was not going to bid with that going on? It was a fabulous evening.

The next day was golf itself.  My GREATEST memory of any Kay Yow Cancer Fund event I have ever been to was this day, and Kay.  She wasn’t feeling all that well and was struggling to walk because of pain in her feet — her toenails were coming off and to wear shoes was a major issue.  Can you imagine?  I set this stage to say how remarkable it was for her to climb up on every green or tee box to take a picture with every group, and every individual who was in Dallas, TX  that day.

Since that day I have been in lots of offices where that picture of Kay sits proudly on a desk.  I am looking at mine right now.  Every day, I am reminded of my friend who embodied courage, servant leadership and friendship more than anyone else I have ever known.

I pray God’s blessings on this great mission known as the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and know we all will fondly remember Kay as we “Play 4Kay” this year at the 2015 4Kay Golf Classic in Pinehurst, NC.

Header image, left to right:  Stephanie Glance (Kay Yow Cancer Fund Board President), Kay Yow and Marsha Sharp at the first 4Kay Golf Classic in 2008. 



  1. Gordy Reese says:

    What happy memories. So thankful to hear Marsha’s memories of Coach Yow and that first, and most special, 4Kay Golf Classic.

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