From 1975 to 1986, Hatchell coached at Francis Marion in South Carolina.
She then got the job opportunity of a lifetime when the University of North Carolina handed her the reins to their team.
A native of the state, Hatchell has been coaching in Chapel Hill ever since.
On Thursday night, she became just the third coach in NCAA women’s hoops history to win 900 games when the Tar Heels beat Boston College, 80-52.
Leading the way in wins is Tennessee legend and former Team USA coach Pat Summitt with 1,098 career victories while Hatchell is now level with another great, former Texas boss Jody Conradt.
“Sylvia is one of those coaches who has been so consistent over a long period of time,” Conradt said in an interview with ESPN.
“It’s really hard to be in a profession as up and down as coaching is and maintain consistency.”
Arguably the finest moment in Hatchell’s career came in 1994, a year that she was named as the National Coach of the Year.
The Tar Heel women, playing in the title game for the first game, trailed Louisiana Tech 59-57 with just 0.7 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Carolina star Charlotte Smith caught the inbounds pass and knocked down a game-winning three-pointer.
“I’ve been so blessed to be around so many wonderful people,” Hatchell said.
“To be at the University of North Carolina, I can tell you it doesn’t get any better than being at Carolina.
“People say, ‘How have you done this for so long and still have that fire, that passion?’
“I have so much balance in my life. I think that’s a big part of it.”