Hatchell Goes For 900th Win
This story originally published on InsideCarolina.com

Associated Press
Posted Feb 1, 2013


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - This could be a huge weekend for North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell.

A victory over rival Duke Sunday would make it 900 career wins for the veteran Tar Heels coach.

Hatchell said Friday that "I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter" that the milestone victory could come against the fifth-ranked Blue Devils.

"It's really not about me winning 900 games against Duke," she added. "It's about the experience those kids have playing this game. ... The experience our kids have playing each other, Carolina and Duke, in any sport, it's as good as probably playing in the Super Bowl because it is the Super Bowl of college athletics."

Hatchell is the winningest active women's coach in Division I with an 899-316 record in her 38th season. She is poised to join Pat Summitt and Jody Conradt in the women's 900-win club. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer is two wins behind Hatchell.

The 60-year-old went 272-80 in 11 seasons at Francis Marion before coming to North Carolina in 1986 and has gone 627-236 with the Tar Heels, leading them to their only women's national championship in 1994.

The 11th-ranked Tar Heels (20-2, 8-1), the preseason picks to finish fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, enter the weekend tied for second behind Duke (19-1, 9-0).

Blue Devils coach Joanne P. McCallie called the milestone "a special thing" because it represents a long, successful career. North Carolina men's coach Roy Williams - whose archrival, Mike Krzyzewski, surged past 900 career wins last season and now is at 945 and counting - said Hatchell's upcoming accomplishment is "off the charts.

"Toughness, the tenaciousness to have that kind of longevity is off the charts," Williams said. "Of course, you have to have good players. You have to have good players that you can convince to buy into what's best for the team. You have to have the stamina and the will to keep doing it (consistently). ... I can't even perceive that kind of thing."

It's a lock that Hatchell will get to 900 and beyond at some point. If the Tar Heels don't beat Duke, they'll surely be heavy favorites next week to defeat a middle-of-the-pack Boston College team that has lost seven of 10.

But a win over the Blue Devils would fit the pattern for Hatchell, whose previous few milestone victories have come against another Triangle rival: North Carolina State. Her 500th, 600th, 700th and 800th wins each came roughly four years apart against the Wolfpack.

"Duke is so good this year, and no one's expecting us to be as good as we are this year," forward Krista Gross said. "It'd be a great way to get her 900th win."

Hatchell laughed at the suggestion that her current crop of freshmen might be around long enough to deliver her 1,000th victory, which at this pace could arrive in 2017. The recruiting services say her freshman class ranks among the nation's best, and its highest-profile player is Xylina McDaniel, the daughter of former NBA player Xavier McDaniel.

But she hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. Her contract was extended through 2017-18 by former athletic director Dick Baddour.

"We'll see what happens, but I feel like I've got several more years in me," Hatchell said. "A lot of people are asking me, and I say, 'Look, I'm planning on coaching several more years.' Dickie gave me a new contract before he retired last year, so I'm fired up. Especially about this team now, and about the future."


Related Stories
No. 900 for Hatchell
 -by InsideCarolina.com  Feb 7, 2013
Lady Vols run past Tar Heels
 -by InsideTennessee.com  Dec 2, 2012
Lady Vols rout Tar Heels, 102-57
 -by InsideTennessee.com  Dec 2, 2012

Get the Pack Pride Magazine!
This Month:

December
The 32-page, glossy magazine includes top-notch features, analysis and fantastic photos. (Online subscribers: upgrade today!)

Order Now!

Learn More About Pack Pride The Magazine!
Next Issue

January
MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook and a full year of Pack Pride Magazine with an Annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from PackPride.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > North Carolina
[View My HotList]