Updated: July 24, 2010, 11:03 AM ET
Kaye Cowher dies of cancer at 54
ESPN.com news services
Kaye Cowher, the wife of former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, died Friday after battling skin cancer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. She was 54.
Born Kaye Young in Bunn, N.C., she met Bill Cowher at N.C. State in 1976, where he was a football player and she and her twin sister Faye played women's basketball. The couple married in 1981.
Kaye Cowher played a key role in her husband's decision to retire from coaching in 2007 and move full-time to Raleigh, so the family could be together as their daughters completed their high school and college basketball careers.
Meagan, Lauren, and Lindsay Cowher all followed their mothers' footsteps into Division I college basketball. Meagan and Lauren played together at Princeton, while Lindsay currently plays at Wofford.
Kaye Cowher and her sister led N.C. State to the Atlantic Coast Conference's first women's basketball title in 1978. They also appeared in a Wrigley's Doublemint gum commercial.
Kaye Cowher played one season for the New York Stars and two with the New Jersey Gems in the Women's Professional Basketball League until that league folded in 1981.
The family has requested privacy and has released no information on Cowher's death. Services will be held in North Carolina on Monday, according to the report.