"It's a humbling experience to be classified with people who have been role models for me," Hatchell said. "I've gone to them for advice throughout my career. It's their guidance that has helped me to be successful and led to my receiving the honor of joining the pioneers of women's basketball in the Hall of Fame."
The induction ceremony will be held Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center. Hatchell's escorts at the ceremony will be her husband, Sammy, and her son, Van. She will be introduced via videotape, as is ceremony tradition, by Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, who hired Hatchell for the UNC job while he was the director of athletics at North Carolina. The weekend will also include an international dinner and storytelling session on Friday and a brunch and gala reception on Saturday.
Among Hatchell's supporters at Saturday's ceremony will be many members of her extended family, as well as the principal, Tommy Northern, who gave Hatchell her first coaching job, directing a seventh and eighth grade team in Talbott, Tenn. "I'm looking forward to the weekend, seeing a lot of family and old friends," Hatchell said. "It's going to be a wonderful weekend." In 18 seasons at UNC, Hatchell has led the Tar Heels to a record of 382-182, including the 1994 NCAA Championship and four ACC titles. Before coming to UNC, she coached Francis Marion to a pair of national championships, an NAIA title in 1986 and an AIAW small college division crown in 1982. She is the only women's basketball coach to lead teams to national championships on the AIAW, NAIA and NCAA Division I levels.
Her career mark currently stands at 654-262, ranking her fifth in total wins among active Division I women's basketball coaches. In addition to her involvement in the college game, Hatchell has held several coaching positions with USA Basketball, including head coach of the 1994 R. William Jones Cup team and of the 1995 World University Games team. Joining Hatchell in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2004, as first announced in Novemeber, are:
Lurlyne Greer Rogers, an eight-time AAU All-America who was captain of the USA's first Pan American Games team, which claimed a gold medal in 1955 Amy Ruley, who has compiled a 605-158 record in her 25 seasons as the coach at North Dakota State University and has led the Bison to five NCAA Division II national championships Bev Smith, a member of three Olympic teams for Canada * two as a player and one as a coach * who is the coach at Oregon, where she was a two-time Kodak All-America William L. "Bill" Wall, the first executive director of USA Basketball (formerly ABAUSA) and a driving force behind the U.S. success in the Olympic Games and other international competitions during his 18-year tenure (1975-1992) with the national governing body Marian E. Washington, who retired this year following 31 seasons as the coach at the University of Kansas. Her 560-363 record included seven conference titles and 16 postseason tournament appearances.
"This is another distinguished class of inductees into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame," said Jody Conradt, University of Texas women's basketball coach, president of the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors, and herself a Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee with the inaugural class in 1999. "This is a great mix of people who have been so integral to the growth of women's basketball at all levels?in the AAU ranks, in Division I and Division II basketball, and in USA Basketball and international competition."
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Voting is based on various factors, which may include moral character, integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball.