Sylvia Hatchell, the head coach of the North Carolina women’s basketball program, joined some elite company Thursday night as she won here 900th game as a head coach. Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight headline the list of coaches with over 900 wins but Hatchell now joins her fellow women’s coach Pat Summitt, a legend herself, among the great coaches of all time.
I had the privileged of helping coach some teams that went to North Carolina for Hatchell’s annual summer team camps at UNC. While at these camps coach Hatchell and her husband Sammy, a college coach himself, were always available to talk to coaches one on one and even held coaches clinics. Hatchell opened up her program for high school coaches to take a good look at how to run a program and what kind of people you wanted around you. Her players held Q and A’s with the high school teams and talked about commitment to academics, sacrifices and their love for the game. The strength and conditioning coach would hold a seminar for the coaches and players to teach them how to properly train their bodies to maximize their potential. Needless to say this was one of the best camps I have ever seen.
Hatchell made one thing clear through out the week at camp, work hard and it will pay off. Her hard work over 38 years as a head coach have led her from 11 seasons at Francis Marion, where she won an AIAW title in 1982 and an NAIA championship in 1986, to North Carolina, where she won the 1994 NCAA championship and made two other Women’s Final Four appearances. She has eight ACC regular-season titles, and the Tar Heels have won the league tournament eight times under her. Add it all up and you get 900 wins and a special lady.