SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– New benches will be installed at the Basketball Hall of Fame to honor four coaches as part of the Naismith Coaches Circle program.

Sylvia Hatchell, Rollie Massimino, Tom Young, and Kay Yow, will be honored with a bench dedication ceremony on Saturday, August 12 at 2:00 PM in the MassMutual Gallery at the Hall of Fame.

The program was created in 2015 by several Hall of Fame coaches as a tribute to basketball’s creator and first coach, Dr. James Naismith, and the core values he instilled in his players – teamwork, determination, self-respect, leadership, initiative, and perseverance. 

The Coaches Circle features a sculpture created by Master Sculptor Brian Hanlon, dedicated to celebrating Dr. Naismith. It showcases granite benches on a recognition platform, paying tribute to coaches who teach and follow the core values both on and off court.


SYLVIA HATCHELL – Sylvia Hatchell won three national championships during a long career that started and stayed in the Carolinas (North and South). She is the only coach to capture national titles at three different levels – AIAW, NAIA, and NCAA. Hatchell won 879 games in over 40 seasons as a head coach and her 1993-94 North Carolina Tar Heels finished 33-2 to capture the 1994 NCAA title. 

ROLLIE MASSIMINO – Rollie Massimino coached the Villanova Wildcats for 19 seasons, leading the program to more than 350 wins. In 1985, Villanova, along with Georgetown and St. John’s, reached the NCAA Final Four, thus cementing the five-year-old Big East Conference as a basketball powerhouse. Massimino’s Wildcats upset Georgetown in the final, 66-64, on a nearly perfect night of shooting to give Villanova its first basketball national championship. 

TOM YOUNG – Tom Young coached the Rutgers University men’s basketball program for 12 seasons, starting in 1973. He led the Scarlet Knights to four NCAA Tournament appearances, and in 1976, Young guided the program to a near-perfect record and the first Final Four in program history. He was named UPI National Coach of the Year for his efforts. Young later coached Old Dominion, where he won a Sun Belt regular season title and reached the NCAA Tournament in 1986.

KAY YOW – Kay Yow led the North Carolina State Wolfpack women’s basketball program to 550 wins, three ACC regular season championships, three conference tournament titles, and the 1998 NCAA Final Four. Yow’s teams played hard-nosed, disciplined basketball that resulted in 20 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Yow also coached the 1988 United States Women’s basketball team to a gold-medal finish in Seoul. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund has raised more than $8 million to combat the dreaded disease.

This weekend is the annual Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement. Learn more about the Hall of Fame and this weekend’s activities on their website.

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