Monday, August 14, 2023

- Dedication Ceremony was Held at the Museum on August 12 - 

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.  The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced four benches that will be installed in the Naismith Coaches Circle. Sylvia Hatchell, Rollie Massimino, Tom Young, and Kay Yow, were honored with a bench dedication ceremony on Saturday, August 12 at 2:00 PM EST in the MassMutual Gallery at the Hall of Fame.

The Naismith Coaches Circle program was first launched in 2015 and is the brainchild of Hall of Famers John Calipari, Jerry Colangelo, and Geroge Raveling. The intent of the program is to pay tribute to basketball’s first coach, Dr. James Naismith, and the core values Dr. Naismith instilled in his players – teamwork, determination, self-respect, leadership, initiative, and perseverance. He believed these principles to be the foundation by which young men and women should play the game and conduct their lives.

The Coaches Circle features a sculpture created by Master Sculptor Brian Hanlon, dedicated to celebrating Dr. Naismith. Additionally, it showcases granite benches on a recognition platform, paying tribute to coaches who share the same core values of teaching, nurturing, and mentoring their players on the court, while offering perspective off the court.

An interactive Coaches Circle video is exhibited on the second floor of the museum, which allows coaches to share their personal stories and honor those in their lives who inspired them.

Through the Coaches Circle Program Legacy Initiative, coaches are honored posthumously by either one individual or a group of individuals. Honorees include Denny Crum, Bill Fitch, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Dave Gavitt, John MacLeod, Dean Smith, Jim Valvano, and John Wooden, among others.


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.


About the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches, and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum, and events, visit, follow @hoophall #23HoopClass or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.