UNC Women's Coach to Temporarily Step Away

USA TODAY Sports

A shocking announcement from North Carolina this afternoon as women's head basketball coach and recent Naismith Hall of Fame inductee Sylvia Hatchell has announced she will take a temporary leave from her "on-the-court" coaching duties to battle leukemia.

University of North Carolina women's basketball head coach Sylvia Hatchell is temporarily stepping away from her on-the-court coaching responsibilities due to a recent diagnosis of leukemia.

"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," says Hatchell.  "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!"

Longtime assistant coach Andrew Calder will take over for Hatchell during her leave from the team.The announcement comes a little over two weeks before the UNC women play their first exhibition game against Carson Newman on October 30th.

Hatchell is preparing to enter her 28th season as the women's coach at UNC where she won an NCAA title in 1994. She is also second on the NCAA women's all-time wins list with 908 victories.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Hatchell.

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