CHAPEL HILL -Sylvia Crawley, the captain and MVP of the 1994 North Carolina NCAA Championship team, has returned as an assistant coach for the Tar Heel women’s basketball program. The announcement was made on Tuesday by head coach Sylvia Hatchell.
Crawley replaces another former UNC playing great, Ivory Latta, who resigned in May after two seasons to focus on her professional playing career.
“This is a tremendous hire for our women’s basketball program,” said Hatchell. “Sylvia is a former ACC head coach and a true Tar Heel. She will be a wonderful addition to our staff and will assist us tremendously with recruiting and all facets of our program. A wonderful person, coach and one of my girls. We’re excited to welcome her back!”
Crawley was a standout center during her days at UNC. As a senior, she was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament team, and to the NCAA East Regional All-Tournament team as Carolina marched toward the national championship in 1994.
“It feels good to be returning to my home away from home,” said Crawley. “I’m grateful that Coach Hatchell has given me the opportunity to recruit and develop outstanding student-athletes at UNC. I was once in their shoes, so it deeply matters to me that every player feels valued and are equipped for the next level in life.”
Upon graduation from Carolina, Crawley spent over a decade playing professional basketball, prior to joining the coaching ranks. Crawley served as the head coach at Boston College from 2008-12 as the Eagles made their entrance into the ACC, and served in the same capacity at Ohio University during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. She owns a 105-88 (.544) career record spanning six seasons.
She was an assistant coach at North Carolina for two seasons from 2000 to 2002, and after completion of her playing career in 2004, she assumed a top assistant’s position at Fordham University. At the end of the 2006 season, she was named the interim head coach at Fordham, prior to accepting the head position with the Bobcats in April 2006.
Most recently, Crawley was an assistant coach with the Indiana Fever of the WNBA in 2014. She also spent two years as a college analyst with American Digital from 2012-14.
Crawley competed in 16 different countries in 12 years of professional basketball experience. She played four WNBA seasons as a forward with the Portland Fire and San Antonio Silver Stars. She announced her retirement from playing prior to the 2004 season. She also played professionally in the former ABL with the Colorado Xplosion and Portland Power from 1996 to 1999, and was the winner of the ABL’s slam dunk contest in 1997 with her famous “blind folded” dunk.
Crawley was named the 1995 USA Basketball Player of the Year after leading the United States to a silver medal at the World University Games. Crawley was a member of the 1994 US Select team and was an alternate for the 1996 Olympic team, which also earned a gold medal. Crawley was also a member of the 1996 Jones Cup team and earned second-team tournament honors.
Crawley finished her Carolina playing career competing in 124 games, making 101 starts. She compiled 1,158 points, 582 rebounds, 123 blocks and 90 steals. She ranks ninth on the UNC career charts in both blocks and field goal percentage (51.4). On Feb. 27, 2000, Crawley watched as her number – #00 – was hoisted to the rafters of Carmichael Arena as one of 11 Tar Heel women’s basketball players to have their numbers hang from the rafters.
Off the court, Crawley is a licensed minister and is the co-founder and publisher of Monarch Magazine (monarchmagazine.com).
The Steubenville, Ohio, native is a 1994 graduate of the University of North Carolina. Crawley earned a double major in communication and radio, TV and motion pictures.
Information for this article from SCS Foundation Alumni Newsletter.