Staley, Hatchell named to Naismith Hall of Fame

April 9, 2013 - 4:00pm
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley was named to the 2013 Class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Monday. (File photo by Lee MIchaelson)

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley was named to the 2013 Class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Monday. (File photo by Lee MIchaelson)

Three-time Olympic gold-medalist and current South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley and three-time National Coach of the Year Sylvia Hatchell, head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels, will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in September, the organization announced Monday.

Staley and Hatchell join a 12-member 2013 Hall of Fame class that also includes men’s basketball greats Rick Pitino, Gary Payton, Jerry Tarkanian, Guy Lewis, Bernard King, Roger Brown, E.B. Henderson, Oscar Schmidt, Richard Guerin and Russ Granik. Enshrinement ceremonies will be held Sept. 6-8 in Springfield, Mass.

Dawn Staley (Player)

One of the most decorated players in women’s basketball history, Staley, a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1996, 2000 and 2004), two-time ABL All-Star (1997 and 1998), five-time WNBA All-Star (2001-03, 2006) and two-time National College Player of the Year (1991-92), will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player. A USA Today National High School Player of the Year after leading her Philadelphia High School team, Murrel Dobbins Tech, to three championships, Staley was a three-time Kodak All-America selection (1990-92) at the University of Virginia. She still holds the NCAA career record for steals (454). She led the Cavaliers to three NCAA Final Four appearances and was named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1991. She is the only player in women’s college basketball history to record 2,000 points, 700 assists and 400 steals.

Twice named USA Basketball Female Player of the Year (1994, 2004), Staley was selected by her fellow Olympians to carry the U.S. flag in the Opening Ceremony at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. After retiring from international competition as a player that year, Staley played a role in a fourth Olympic gold-medal performance by the U.S. women’s basketball team as an assistant coach in Beijing (2008).

Staley, who was enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame last year, went on to begin her professional career in Europe, playing in France, Italy, Brazil and Spain before joining the now-defunct American Basketball League in 1996. Playing for the Richmond Rage, which was transferred to Philadelphia the following season, she led her team to the ABL Finals in the league’s inaugural season.

Staley was drafted as the ninth overall pick of the 1999 WNBA Draft by the Charlotte Sting, where she played for the majority of seven seasons before being traded to the Houston Comets in August 2005. She led the Sting to multiple playoff appearances, including a trip to the WNBA Finals in 2001, and helped the Comets to a first-round playoff appearance in 2005. A consummate pass-first point guard, the 5-6 Staley still ranks among the league’s all-time leaders in total assists, assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio, as well as in three-point field goals, free-throw percentage and steals. She was named to the WNBA’s All-Decade Team in 2006 and was selected as one of the league’s top-15 all-time players in 2011.

A two-time recipient of the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, Staley was named to the WNBA’s All-Decade Team in 2006 and was voted one of the league’s top 15 all-time players in 2011. Following her retirement in 2006, the WNBA named its annual Community Leadership Award in her honor.

Staley began her coaching career even before hanging up her hightops as a player. In her first coaching position, at Temple University, she helped the Owls reach the postseason seven times in her eight years at the helm. In 2001, she led Temple to the first A-10 tournament title in school history, and took the Owls back to three-straight conference tournament championships in 2004, 2005, 2006, leaving the program as the winningest coach in its women’s basketball program history. After taking the helm at South Carolina in May 2008, she led the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in a decade last year.

Sylvia Hatchell (Coach)

Hatchell, who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004 and will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as a coach, recently became just the third Division I women's coach to win 900 career games and the only coach in history to win national championships at three different levels (AIAW, NAIA and NCAA). With more than 1,000 career games and 36 seasons of coaching under her belt, she is the third-winningest active coach in the nation. Since taking over at the University of North Carolina in 1986, she has led the Tar Heels to three NCAA Final Fours, eight ACC championships and the 1994 National Championship. 

Hatchell, a graduate of Carson-Newman University where she played both basketball and volleyball, is a three-time National Coach of the Year (1994, 2006 and 2008) and three-time ACC Coach of the Year. She has led her teams to seven 30-win seasons and twenty-eight 20-win seasons. 

Active in USA Basketball at both the Olympic and developmental levels, Hatchell served as an assistant coach for the 1988 Olympic gold medal women’s basketball team; she also served as an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning U.S. Goodwill Games and World Championship teams in 1986, the gold medal World University Games team in 1983, and the silver medal World University Games team in 1985 . As a head coach, she led the U.S. to the silver medal at the 1995 World University Games and to the gold medal in the 1994  R. Williams Jones Cup.

Prior to taking the reins at North Carolina, Hatchell served as head coach at Francis Marion for 11 seasons, guiding the Lady Patriots to a cumulative 272-80 record, an NAIA national championship (1986) and the AIAW small-college division crown (1982).

Source: Portions of this article were obtained from press releases issued by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and by the University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina Offices of Athletics Communications.