Sylvia Hatchell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sylvia Hatchell
Biographical details
Born (1952-02-28) February 28, 1952 (age 72)
Gastonia, North Carolina, U.S.
Alma materCarson–Newman
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1974–1975Tennessee (JV)
1975–1986Francis Marion
1988USA Olympic team (asst.)
1986–2019North Carolina
Head coaching record
Overall1023–405 (.716)
Accomplishments and honors
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2013
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medal record
Women’s Basketball
Head Coach for  United States
World University Games
Silver medal – second place 1995 Fukuoka Team Competition
William Jones Cup
Gold medal – first place 1994 Taipei Team Competition
Assistant Coach for  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Team Competition
FIBA World Championship for Women
Gold medal – first place 1986 Moscow Team Competition
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1986 Moscow Team Competition
World University Games
Silver medal – second place 1985 Kobe Team Competition
Gold medal – first place 1983 Edmonton Team Competition

Sylvia Rhyne Hatchell (born February 28, 1952) is a former American women's basketball coach, who last coached for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and was the fifth with the most career wins in NCAA women's basketball history, behind former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, and UConn coach Geno Auriemma. She competed with USA Basketball as the head coach of the 1994 Jones Cup Team that won the gold in Taipei.[1][2] Hatchell was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

On April 2, 2019, Hatchell and three assistants were placed on administrative leave following accusations of racially insensitive remarks and forcing players to play while injured.[3][4] She resigned as North Carolina's head coach on April 18, 2019.[5]


Hatchell graduated from Carson–Newman College with a BS degree in physical education in 1974. She completed her master's degree the following year at the University of Tennessee.[6]


Hatchell realized that coaching was her calling when she was asked to coach a junior high girls' basketball team in 1974. She followed that with a brief stint as the junior varsity basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, then moved on to become the coach at Francis Marion College, where she would remain for the next eleven years, compiling a 272–80 record.[6]

In 1986, Hatchell would take the head coaching position at the University of North Carolina. Under Hatchell's leadership the Tar Heels would become one of the nation's top basketball teams and also become a mainstay in the NCAA tournament.[6]

The highlight of Hatchell's career was winning the national championship in 1994. The title game against Louisiana Tech was one of the more exciting finishes in tournament history. Louisiana Tech had scored with 14 seconds to go in the game, giving them a two-point lead, 59–57. UNC's Tonya Sampson attempted a shot with four seconds to go in the game that would tie the game, but it did not go in. The Tar Heels rebounded the ball and called a time out, with only 0.7 seconds left in the game. Stephanie Lawrence passed the ball inbounds to Charlotte Smith, who hit a 20-foot jump shot for three points to win the game and the national championship at the buzzer.[7]

In 2009, Hatchell became only the fourth coach of a women's basketball team to reach the 800-win plateau. The win came against in-state rival North Carolina State, and was tough, as the Tar Heels needed overtime to pull out the win.[8] UNC faced the same opponent for Hatchell's 700th victory, on January 16, 2006.[9]

In 2013, Hatchell was forced to step aside from her coaching duties when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in October. A routine physical in September showed a low white blood cell count, which eventually led to the diagnosis. This was the first time she has missed any games coaching since January 1989, when she was out for the birth of her son. She was treated with aggressive chemotherapy at UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.[10] She was able to resume coaching at the start of the 2014–15 season.

UNC extended Hatchell's contract through the 2019–20 season on September 22, 2016. The contract was originally set to expire in 2018.[11]

On December 19, 2017, Hatchell became the third coach in women's basketball history to record 1,000 career wins, when the Tar Heels defeated Grambling State.[12]

Hatchell's son, Van, graduated from UNC in 2011 and was a walk-on senior on the 2010–11 men's basketball team.[13]

On April 18, 2019, Sylvia Hatchell resigned as head coach of UNC women's basketball.[14]

Head coaching record[edit]

Source for Francis Marion:[15]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Francis Marion Patriots (South Carolina AIAW) (1975–1982)
1975–76 Francis Marion 23–9 AIAW Small College
1976–77 Francis Marion 21–11 AIAW Small College
1977–78 Francis Marion 22–11 AIAW Small College
1978–79 Francis Marion 19–11 AIAW Small College
1979–80 Francis Marion 20–8
1980–81 Francis Marion 27–5 AIAW Small College
1981–82 Francis Marion 27–7 AIAW Division II champions
Francis Marion Patriots (NAIA District Six) (1982–1986)
1982–83 Francis Marion 23–7 NAIA Area 7 second round
1983–84 Francis Marion 28–5 NAIA quarterfinals
1984–85 Francis Marion 26–4 NAIA quarterfinals
1985–86 Francis Marion 36–2 NAIA champions
Francis Marion: 272–80 (.773)
North Carolina Tar Heels (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1986–2019)
1986–87 North Carolina 19–10 9–5 3rd NCAA second round
1987–88 North Carolina 10–17 4–10 6th
1988–89 North Carolina 10–20 1–13 8th
1989–90 North Carolina 13–15 3–11 8th
1990-91 North Carolina 12–16 2–12 8th
1991–92 North Carolina 22–9 9–7 T–3rd NCAA second round
1992–93 North Carolina 23–7 11-5 T–2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1993–94 North Carolina 33–2 14–2 2nd NCAA Champions
1994–95 North Carolina 30–5 12–4 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1995–96 North Carolina 13–14 8–8 5th
1996–97 North Carolina 29–3 13–1 1st NCAA Sweet 16
1997–98 North Carolina 27–7 11–5 4th NCAA Elite Eight
1998–99 North Carolina 28–8 11–5 T–3rd NCAA Sweet 16
1999–00 North Carolina 20–13 8–8 5th NCAA Sweet 16
2000–01 North Carolina 15–14 7–9 7th
2001–02 North Carolina 26–9 11–5 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
2002–03 North Carolina 28–6 13–3 2nd NCAA second round
2003–04 North Carolina 24–7 12–4 2nd NCAA first round
2004–05 North Carolina 30–4 12–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2005–06 North Carolina 33–2 13–1 1st NCAA Final Four
2006–07 North Carolina 34–4 11–3 2nd NCAA Final Four
2007–08 North Carolina 33–3 14–0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2008–09 North Carolina 28–7 12–4 4th NCAA second round
2009–10 North Carolina 19–12 6–8 T–7th NCAA first round
2010–11 North Carolina 28–9 8–6 6th NCAA Sweet 16
2011–12 North Carolina 20–11 9–7 T–6th
2012–13 North Carolina 29–7 14–4 T–2nd NCAA second round
2013–14 North Carolina 27–10 10-6 T–5th NCAA Elite Eight
2014–15 North Carolina 26–9 10–6 6th NCAA Sweet 16
2015–16 North Carolina 14–18 4–12 12th
2016–17 North Carolina 15–16 3–13 T–13th
2017–18 North Carolina 15–16 4–12 12th
2018–19 North Carolina 18–15 8–8 8th NCAA first round
North Carolina: 751–325 (.698) 297–209 (.587)
Total: 1023–405 (.716)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

USA Basketball[edit]

Hatchell was the assistant coach of the team representing the USA at the World University Games held in Edmonton, Canada in July 1983. The first game against Hong Kong was a mismatch—the USA team would outscore their opponents by triple digits, 134–23. Joyce Walker's 26 points alone were more than the entire Hong Kong team. The next two games against France and West Germany were closer, but the USA still won by 16 and 15 points respectively. The USA team faced Romania and lost by 14 points 85–71. The next opponent was Yugoslavia, which the USA needed to win to stay in medal contention. The game was close, but the USA won by a single point 86–85 to head to a rematch with Romania for the gold medal. The Romanian team started out strong, and held a six-point lead at halftime. The USA team came back, out scoring their opponents 47–19 in the second half, and won the game, earning the gold medal. Walker was the leading scorer for the US with 13.8 points per game, but Deborah Temple Lee was close behind with 13.5 points per game.[16]

Hatchell was the assistant coach of the team representing the US at the World University Games held in Kobe, Japan in July 1985. The team won their three preliminary games with ease, beating the People's Republic of Korea, Yugoslavia and Great Britain by more than 25 points each. Their next game, against China, was much closer, but the USA team had balanced scoring, with five players in double figures for points, and won 83–78. The USA team played Canada in the semifinal, and again had five players with double-digit scoring, winning 85–61 to advance to the gold medal game against the USSR. The USA fell behind by as much as 18 points in the second half. They attempted a comeback, and cut the margin, but the USSR hit almost 55% of their shots and went on to claim the gold medal 87–81. The USA received the silver medal. Katrina McClain was the leading scorer and rebounder for the USA team with 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.[17]

Hatchell was named assistant coach of the USA national team which would compete at the 1986 World Championships and the 1990 Olympics. The World Championships were held in Moscow, Soviet Union in August. The USA team started strong with a more than 50-point victory over Taipei. The USA team continued to dominate their opponents, winning the next three preliminary rounds games, with a 15-point victory over Hungary being the closest margin, then advanced to the medal play rounds. They defeated China in the quarterfinals, and Canada in the semifinals to set up the championship match against host and undefeated Soviet Union. Although the USA had recently defeated the USSR in the Goodwill Games, the USA wanted to demonstrate that the victory was no "fluke". The Soviet team was taller, but the USA team was able to outscore them. The USA team started the game with the first eight points, and had a 15–1 run during the second half, and won in convincing fashion 108–88 to win the gold medal and the world championship. Every one of the starters achieved double-digit scoring in the final game, led by Cheryl Miller who had 24 points along with 15 rebounds in the championship game.[18]

In 1994, Hatchell served as the head coach of the 1994 R. William Jones Cup Team for the competition held in Taipei, Taiwan. Despite having four players averaging double-digit scoring, including Wendy Palmer at almost 19 points per game, the USA had some close matches. After winning the opening game, the USA team faced the champions of the prior year, Republic of China – Cathay Life. The game came down to the final seconds, resulting in an 82–81 win. Palmer had 31 points, all needed. In the game against Kazakhstan, the USA was behind by two points at halftime, but came back to win. The USA repeated the feat against Canada, falling behind two points at halftime, but finishing with a win. The USA next faced unbeaten South Korea and came away with a win. Despite not losing a game, the USA needed to beat Republic of China – Nan Ya to advance to the gold medal game, and succeeded, with a 72–64 win. In the final game against South Korea, the teams were tied at the end of regulation and went into overtime. The USA was down with just over a minute to go when Palmer hit a basket to give the USA a one-point lead. After two free throws, South Korea scored, and had the ball on the final possession with a chance to win, but was unable to get up a shot in time. The USA won the gold medal with an 8–0 performance, but with many close games.[19]

In 1995 Hatchell was the head coach, with assistants Jim Lewis, Kay James, and Clemette Haskins, of the team representing the US at the World University Games held in Fukuoka, Japan in August and September. The USA team won their first five games with ease, with only the 18-point victory over Yugoslavia in a quarterfinal match falling short of a 20-point margin of victory. In the semifinal against Russia, the team was behind for much of the first half and held only a two-point lead with under ten minutes to go, but then went on a 25–4 run to take control of the game. The final game, for the gold medal, was against Italy. The Italians started with a 12–2 run to open the game. The USA cut the lead, but were behind by nine points at the half. The USA took a lead in the second half, but the Italians responded with ten consecutive points and then held on to win the gold medal, leaving the US with the silver.[20]

She continued on as assistant coach at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, where the USA team also won the gold medal.[21]

Hatchell also served as the head coach for the USA team at the 1995 World University Games in Fukuoka, Japan, where the team won the silver medal.[22]


On January 10, 2020, Hatchell was cited for misdemeanor death by vehicle in connection to an incident on January 6 in which an 89-year-old pedestrian was struck down by Hatchell in a parking lot, and who died two days later.[23]


Hatchell is the co-author of two books on coaching basketball:

  • Hatchell, Sylvia; Thomas, Jeff (November 15, 2005). The Baffled Parent's Guide to Coaching Girls' Basketball. International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press. ISBN 978-0-07-145923-5.
  • Hatchell, Sylvia; Thomas, Jeff (June 22, 2006). The Complete Guide to Coaching Girls' Basketball: Building a Great Team the Carolina Way. International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press. ISBN 978-0-07-147394-1.

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1994 Women's R. William Jones Cup". Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  2. ^ "Sylvia Hatchell". University of North Carolina. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  3. ^ Bonesteel, Matt (April 2, 2019). "UNC to investigate women's basketball program over 'issues raised by student-athletes'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  4. ^ Hobson, Will (April 4, 2019). "Sylvia Hatchell accused of racially insensitive remarks, forcing UNC players to play hurt". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Boone, Kyle (April 19, 2019). "UNC women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell resigns after investigation reveals 'racially insensitive' remarks". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Porter p. 195–195
  7. ^ Kelli, Anderson (April 11, 1994). "Beat The Clock". Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  8. ^ "Hatchell becomes 4th coach to 800 wins as UNC dominates OT". ESPN. January 11, 2009. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  9. ^ "Tar Heels Return Home To Host Georgia Tech". CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "Hatchell Fights Leukemia, Hopes To Coach This Year". WeeklyTimes. December 24, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  11. ^ "UNC's Hatchell gets 2-year extension through 2019-20 season". Associated Press. September 28, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (December 19, 2017). "UConn's Geno Auriemma, UNC's Sylvia Hatchell hit 1,000-wins mark". ESPNW. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  13. ^ "Van Hatchell". University of North Carolina. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011.
  14. ^ "UNC coach Hatchell resigns after program review". ESPN. April 19, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  15. ^ "Francis Marion University Women's Basketball 2011-12 Media Guide". Francis Marion University. 2011. pp. 25–26.
  16. ^ "Twelfth World University Games – 1983". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  17. ^ "Thirteenth World University Games – 1985". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  18. ^ "Tenth World Championship For Women -- 1986". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  19. ^ "1994 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 28, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  20. ^ "Seventeenth World University Games -- 1995". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  21. ^ "Games of the XXIVth Olympiad – 1988". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  22. ^ "Seventeenth World University Games – 1995". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  23. ^ "Ex-Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell, 67, charged in pedestrian death". ESPN. January 11, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  24. ^ a b "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  25. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  26. ^ "USBWA Women's Honors". USBWA. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  27. ^ "Naismith College Coach of the Year". Atlanta Tipoff Club. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  28. ^ "Sylvia Hatchell Voted AP Coach of the Year - Tar Heel Times - 4/2/2006". April 2, 2006. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  29. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2013" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. April 8, 2013. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.


  • Porter, David L., ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6.

External links[edit]