February 28, 1952 |
Gastonia, North Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
U.S. Olympic Team (Assistant)
Tennessee (Junior Varsity)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2013
Sylvia Rhyne Hatchell (born February 28, 1952) is the head coach of the women's basketball team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently the second winningest head coach in NCAA women's basketball history, behind only former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. She competed with USA Basketball as the head coach of the 1994 Jones Cup Team that won the gold in Taipei.
Hatchell realized that coaching was her calling when she was asked to coach a junior high girl's 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.
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 becoming a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament. They have been to every tournament since 2001, and all but two since 1992.
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.
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. Interestingly, UNC faced the same opponent for Hatchell's 700th victory, on January 16, 2006.
In 2013, Hatchell was forced to step aside from her coaching duties when she was diagnosed with leukemia in October. A routine physical in September showed a low white blood cell count, which eventually led to the diagnosis. This is the first time she has missed any games coaching since January, 1989 when she was out for the birth of her son. She is being treated with aggressive chemotherapy at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and hopes to return to coaching soon.
Hatchell's son, Van, graduated from UNC in 2011 and was a walk-on senior on the 2010–11 men's basketball team.
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 USA with 13.8 points per game, but Deborah Temple Lee was close behind with 13.5 points per game.
Hatchell was the assistant coach of the team representing the USA 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.
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 point along with 15 rebounds in the championship game.
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.
In 1995 Hatchell was the head coach, with assistants Jim Lewis, Kay James, and Clemette Haskins, of the team representing the USA 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 USA with the silver.
Hatchell is the co-author of two books on coaching basketball:
- Hatchell, Sylvia; Jeff Thomas (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; Jeff Thomas (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
- 1993—Francis Marion University Athletic Hall of Fame
- 1994—USA Today National Coach of the Year
- 1994—College Sports Magazine National Coach of the Year
- 2004—Hatchell was elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Knoxville, Tennessee.
- 2006—US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year award.
- 2006—Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year
- 2006—Naismith College Coach of the Year
- 2013—Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
- "1994 Women's R. William Jones Cup". Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- "2007–08 North Carolina Women's Basketball Media Guide." tarheelblue.com. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
- Porter p. 195–195
- Kelli, Anderson (April 11, 1994). "Beat The Clock". SI.com. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "Hatchell becomes 4th coach to 800 wins as UNC dominates OT". ESPN. January 11, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "Tar Heels Return Home To Host Georgia Tech". CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- AP (24 December 2013). "Hatchell Fights Leukemia, Hopes To Coach This Year". WeeklyTimes. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Van Hatchell bio at Tarheelblue.com
- "Twelvth [sic] World University Games – 1983". USA Basketball. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "Thirteenth World University Games – 1985". USA Basketball. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "Tenth World Championship For Women -- 1986". USA Basketball. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "1994 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Seventeenth World University Games -- 1995". USA Basketball. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Games of the XXIVth Olympiad – 1988". USA Basketball. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "Seventeenth World University Games – 1995". USA Basketball. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- "USBWA Women's Honors". USBWA. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
- "Naismith College Coach of the Year". Atlanta Tipoff Club. Retrieved 5 Jan 2013.
- "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2013" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. April 8, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
- David L. Porter, ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6.