Kaye Cowher Passes Away At 54

Jonathan Cyprowski@@JCyprowskiCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2010

DETROIT - FEBRUARY 05:  Head coach Bill Cowher of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates by waving a 'terrible towel' after defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at Ford Field on February 5, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan.The Steelers defeated the Seahawks 21-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Kaye Cowher, the wife of former Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach Bill Cowher, passed away Friday night at the age of 54. 

Mrs. Cowher had been battling skin cancer for some time, but as with most things personal, the Cowhers chose to keep the matter private.  

Both Bill and Kaye were athletes at North Carolina State University, where they met and formed a relationship that would last over 20 years. Bill played linebacker on the football team, while Kaye and her twin sister Faye were star basketball players for the Wolfpack.

During their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Cowher had three daughters, all of whom are outstanding athletes. 

Kaye enjoyed coaching her daughters, as the two oldest daughters Meagan and Lauren went on to follow in their mother’s footsteps, playing collegiate basketball together at Princeton. 

Mrs. Cowher was also highly involved in charities for abused children during her time in Pittsburgh. 

Coach Cowher retired just one year removed from winning Super Bowl XL, the summit of a 15-year career as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While some suspected financial terms in a contract extension were his reason for resigning as the head coach of the Steelers, Cowher stated that his family and wanting to be with them was the main reason for leaving the coaching ranks of the NFL.

With the level of privacy the Cowhers kept, it is unclear if Mrs. Cowher’s health concerns had anything to do with the decision. However, the family bought a home in Kaye’s home state of North Carolina prior to coach Cowher’s resignation in Pittsburgh.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Cowhers will not release any further information about Mrs. Cowher’s illness or death, and they have asked for privacy during their time of mourning.

Funeral services are to be held Monday in North Carolina.