Hatchell is finalist for Naismith Hall of Fame
North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell, who recorded her 900th career victory a week ago, is one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the organization announced Friday.
“I am just overwhelmed and honored to be named a finalist,” Hatchell said in a statement. “I have been so blessed to coach incredible young women for 38 years at Francis Marion and the University of North Carolina, and to work along side such talented coaches throughout my career.
“To see my name mentioned in the same breath as some of the greatest players and coaches in the history of the sport is something I would have never dreamed of.”
Hatchell, a first-time finalist, is second on the all-time wins list for women’s basketball behind Pat Summitt. She was named by the women’s committee along with Dawn Staley.
Hatchell is joined as a finalist this year by former NBA stars Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, current Louisville coach Rick Pitino and former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian.
Boston Celtics great Tom Heinsohn, already inducted as a player, is a finalist in the coaching category.
Hatchell has a career record of 902-317 in 38 seasons, including 27 at UNC. She is the only coach in history to win national championships at three different levels (AIAW, NAIA and NCAA) and has led the Tar Heels to three NCAA Final Fours, eight ACC championships and the 1994 NCAA Championship.
Hatchell is a three-time National Coach of the Year (1994, 2006 and 2008) and three-time ACC Coach of the Year.
Active women’s basketball coaches in the Naismith Hall of Fame include Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, C. Vivian Stringer of Rutgers and Tara VanDerveer of Stanford. Summitt, Jody Conradt, Kay Yow and Sue Gunter also have been inducted.
A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2013 will be announced on April 8 at a news conference in Atlanta before the NCAA men’s championship game and will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Sept. 8.