Sylvia Hatchell, University of North Carolina Women’s Basketball Coach, has been diagnosed with leukemia.
This will sideline her for an undetermined period of time while she undergoes treatment, she announced on Monday.
In a heartfelt statement, Hatchell said:
I am going to be involved in a treatment plan established by Dr. Pete Voorhees, medical oncologist, and his team from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. I have the utmost confidence in my doctors. There is a reason why the North Carolina Cancer Hospital ranks as one of the top cancer facilities in the nation.
I will remain very much involved with my team and day-to-day operations here at UNC and expect to return to my sideline responsibilities as soon as possible. My veteran staff and team will be well prepared and meet any challenges until my return. Don’t forget I am a Tar Heel woman!
Andrew Calder, the associate head coach for UNC will take over Sylvia Hatchell’s duties in the meantime.
This will be the legendary coach’s 28th season and she will defend her over all record of 908-321, which makes her only one of three women to win more than 900 games. Hatchell was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last month for her accomplishments in the sport.
UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham released a statement of support for Sylvia Hatchell on Monday that read in part:
Sylvia is a fighter and her enduring spirit will aid her greatly. Her staff and players, family and members of the athletics and University community will do what we can to bolster those efforts. Sylvia has been a long-time supporter of the Lineberger Center and is in the best hands possible.
Sylvia Hatchell, 61, is the winningest active coach in women’s basketball and is currently ranked second in all time wins. She led UNC to the 1994 NCAA Championship.