Hatchell is the first woman with UNC ties to earn an induction.
“This is probably the next best thing to heaven.”
She’s now a part of an elite club of nine other Tar Heels in the Naismith Hall of Fame – including coaches Frank McGuire, Dean Smith and Larry Brown, player/coach Billy Cunningham and players James Worthy, Robert McAdoo and Michael Jordan.
“There are all these names in there that I have idolized as players and coaches through out my career.”
Hatchell will attend the Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 8. She joins coaches Rick Pitino, Guy Lewis, and Jerry Tarkanian and players Bernard King, Gary Payton and Dawn Staley as members of the 2013 class introduced Monday as a part of the Men’s Final Four festivities in Atlanta.
She says there’s been an outpouring of love from the Carolina community and even a couple of surprise congratulations.
“One of the nicest notes I received was actually from Mike Krzyzewski. It was just an unbelievable response.”
In 2013, Hatchell became just the third women’s coach in history to reach 900 career wins, and she currently stands No. 2 all-time behind Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.
Hatchell has won 636 games as the head coach at UNC in her 27 seasons as head coach. In 1994, she led the Heels to the national championship on Charlotte Smith’s buzzer-beating three-pointer against Louisiana Tech. Carolina has also won eight ACC Tournament titles under Hatchell.