Williams, Hatchell Both National Coaches of Year

The Associated Press’ men’s and women’s basketball coaches of the year both work for Carolina.

Sylvia Hatchell was voted national coach of the year on April 1 on the eve of the team’s appearance in the Final Four. Roy Williams ’72 won the men’s award the day before. Williams, who won the AP award while coaching at the University of Kansas in 1992, is the second coach to win the award at two schools. Eddie Sutton was the AP Coach of the Year in 1978 at Arkansas and 1986 at Kentucky.

The UNC women fell short in their bid for the national title, losing to Maryland 81-70 in a semifinal game. The Tar Heels finished the season 33-2, its only other loss also to Maryland. They took four wins from three of the other national powers – Connecticut and Duke (twice) in the regular season, and Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament.

The men’s team Tar Heels went 23-8, despite being the first team in Atlantic Coast Conference history to lose its top seven scorers from the previous season. Carolina started two freshmen and two former walk-ons for most of the season, one year after Williams led UNC to the NCAA championship.

Carolina went 12-4 and finished alone in second place in the ACC. That included a 7-1 record in ACC road games, capped by an 83-76 win at No. 1-ranked Duke in the regular-season finale. The Tar Heels also won at 10th-ranked Kentucky.

Williams is the seventh coach to win the AP honor more than once since the national wire service began presenting the award in 1967. The other multiple winners include UCLA’s John Wooden (five times), Indiana’s Bob Knight (three times), Sutton, DePaul’s Ray Meyer, Oregon State’s Ralph Miller and Houston’s Guy Lewis.

Williams, who has a 493-124 record, has the fourth-highest winning percentage in history at 79.9 percent. Only Clair Bee, Adolph Rupp and John Wooden have a higher percentage.

This is the sixth year in Williams’ 18 seasons as a collegiate head coach in which he has won a national honor. He won the USBWA award in 1990, the Los Angeles Times award in 1991, the AP award in 1992, the Naismith and Sporting News awards in 1997 and the New York Athletic Club award in 2005.

Williams also has received National Coach of the Year honors this year from the Commonwealth Club of Kentucky (Rupp Award) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association of America.

Hatchell’s 1994 team won the national championship. She has a 445-187 record in 20 years at Carolina. Her overall record is 717-267 in 31 years, including 11 at Francis Marion.

Hatchell told the AP, “I don’t deserve this award. I learned a long time ago to surround yourself with good people and they make you look good. That’s what I’ve done.

“When I was younger, I wanted to prove myself as a coach. But with the different things we have accomplished, now I don’t have to prove myself as a coach. The main thing now is I just want my players to experience success and I want to see the smiles on their faces. I want them to have fun.”

Photos from the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ quest for their respective championships can be found online, along with photos of their fans.

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