University of North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell recorded her 1,000th career win Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Her 79-63 victory over Grambling State University makes her the third women’s basketball coach to join the 1,000-win club.
"Tremendous to think about all the time, talent and service combined to reach 1,000 wins," said Danielle Donehew, executive director of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. "Congratulations to Coach Sylvia Hatchell, her staff, team and family for surpassing this historic milestone. The WBCA salutes our past president and applauds her many contributions to our game."
Hatchell joined the University of North Carolina in 1986. Under her direction, the Tar Heels have won a national championship and eight Atlantic Coast Conference titles. She has also managed six 30-win seasons with the squad and stands as one of only two coaches to reach the 700-win mark at an ACC school.
Prior to joining UNC, Hatchell coached 11 seasons at Francis Marion, where she had a 272-80 record. In 1982, Hatchell earned her first national championship title, as the Lady Patriots captured the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) small college division crown. Hatchell went on to lead Francis Marion to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship in 1986.
Hatchell also spent time coaching at the international level as she directed the United States team to a gold medal in the R. William Jones Cup in 1994. She later served as assistant coach of the U.S. women’s team that claimed the gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games and served in the same capacity for the 1986 U.S. national women’s squad that won gold medals at both the Goodwill Games and World Championships.
Hatchell’s growing list of honors and accolades include becoming the first and only coach to lead teams to national championships at the AIAW, NAIA and NCAA. During the 2005-06 season, she was honored as national coach of the year by the Associated Press, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Basketball Times. She also received the Naismith Award and was named ACC Coach of the Year.
Other honors include the 1986 and 2006 United State Marine Corps/WBCA National Coach of the Year award and inductions into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2004) and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2013).
Hatchell graduated from Carson-Newman College where she was a dual-sport student-athlete — playing basketball and volleyball. In 2013, her diagnosis with acute myeloid leukemia caused her to briefly step away from her coaching duties, but her journey through treatment and a return to the sidelines gave her a new platform to inspire her team and fans of the sport.
Congratulations to Hatchell, a WBCA past president on her historic win!