HOUSTON --- North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell is one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame announced Friday. Hatchell, who recently became the third women's coach to reach 900 career wins, is one of six first-time finalists and, along with Dawn Staley, one of two women's committee nominees.
The announcement of the finalists kicked off All-Star Weekend in Houston.
Hatchell is joined as a finalist by former NBA stars Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond, former Houston Cougars 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, 27 of which have come at North Carolina. 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. In addition to her success at UNC, Hatchell won 272 games and two national championships in 11 seasons at Francis Marion.
Hatchell is a three-time National Coach of the Year (1994, 2006 and 2008) and three-time ACC Coach of the Year. She has led her teams to seven 30-win seasons and twenty-nine 20-win seasons. In international competition, she was an assistant coach for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team that won gold in South Korea and was a part of four World University Games coaching staffs.
The 2013 class will be announced at the Final Four in April.
Statement from Sylvia Hatchell:
"I am just overwhelmed and honored to be named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 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.
"I am also thrilled to join Dawn Staley as a representative of the game of women's basketball. I've coached against Dawn as both a player at Virginia and a coach at South Carolina, and she has always competed at the highest level on the court and on the sideline."