Chapel Hill, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - North Carolina announced Monday that
longtime head women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has successfully
completed chemotherapy treatments for leukemia and will be back behind the
bench for the upcoming 2014-15 season.
Hatchell spent all of last season battling the disease, which was diagnosed during a physical exam back in October. Her leukemia has since gone into remission, allowing her to make recruiting trips and attend Tar Heel booster club events in recent weeks.
"Her disease is in complete remission, and we remain highly optimistic about her future," said Dr. Pete Voorhees of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Coach Hatchell will be back for the upcoming season, and I expect that her experience over the last many months, as difficult as it was, will only make her a stronger person and coach."
Hatchell, 62, has served as North Carolina's head coach since 1986 and ranks fifth on the all-time wins list with 908 career victories. She guided the Tar Heels to a national championship in 1993-94 and six ACC Tournament titles during her 28-year tenure.
"I'm excited about the future of our program," said Hatchell in a statement. "Stepping away from the sidelines has helped me see the game from a different angle. I will be more in tune than ever with the ingredients of what our players and program need to be successful. I'm looking forward to summer camps starting up soon in Carmichael Arena, continuing recruiting the top players in the country and starting back summer workouts with our players."