Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Remembering how it used to be:

WHEN 23-YEAR-OLD Sylvia Hatchell drove her baby blue Volkswagen out of the Tennessee mountains into the South Carolina Pee Dee in 1975, she maneuvered her way into the great unknown.

In her mind, Hatchell was moving closer to heaven. She had just accepted the women’s basketball coaching position at Francis Marion College in Florence and would be paid $9,200 for nine months of work. That was big money considering her graduate school classmate at the University of Tennessee, Pat Summitt, had taken over the program a year earlier with an annual salary of $8,600.

As part of her coaching duties, Hatchell drove the team bus on road trips. She swept the gymnasium floor. She washed the uniforms. She was the director of the school’s intramural program. She served as advisor for the Francis Marion cheerleading squads. And she taught four classes.