From Hamptonville to Spartanburg, Heather Macy continues to reach new heights in Women’s Basketball
Located in an unincorporated part of Yadkin County is Hamptonville, NC. This small city is home to just 5901 people, with the average family size being three people. The city was named after colonel Henry Hampton, a member of the revolutionary army. This is where it all began for current Spartanburg Methodist College Women’s Basketball Head Coach Heather Macy grew up.
“Small town USA. The population was mostly people that you were relate to if you can imagine that. I was fortunate to have a great upbringing. I had a great family. I feel like I was raised the right way with an incredible work ethic and the ability to tell from right and wrong,” Macy said.
Macy was the starting point guard for her hometown high school, Starmount, where she was the starting point guard from 1994-1996. In her senior year, she led Starmount to the conference championship, and was later inducted into the Starmount High School Hall of Fame’s as part of the first class of inductees.
“What an honor it was to even be considered for the first group of inductees. I actually wasn’t able to attend the ceremony because I had a game to coach, but my family attended, and my nephew accepted the award in my place so that was a cool moment.”
From High School, Macy went on to play for Greensboro College and graduating cum laude with a BS in sports and exercise studies. While at Greensboro, she scored 707 points and recorded 207 assists over four years.
However, one of the highlights of her college career was making the NCAA tournament when her 1996-1997 team became the first Greensboro women’s team to earn a tournament berth after a 19-9 overall record and an 8-4 record in Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. That Greensboro team was inducted into the college hall of fame in 2012.
Macy said, “I was so thankful to be at that ceremony and had a great time telling stories with all of my former teammates. It was just an incredible honor.”
For some, college athletics is the end of your career. However, Macy didn’t miss a beat as she quickly transitioned from running the plays, to calling them. In 2000, she became a coaching assistant for Catawba, a private college in Salisbury, NC. From there she became an assistant at D-II school Lenoir-Rhyne for a year, an assistant at High Point for two years, and an assistant at UMBC for a year.
In 2006, Macy got her big break. She was named head coach of the women’s basketball team at Pfeiffer University. Taking over a team that was 8-20 in the previous season, Macy quickly got to work, guiding the Falcons to a 14-15 record in her first season as coach.
The following season, Macy led Pfeiffer to a 26-5 record, including an 18-3 record in their conference. That record earned the Falcons an invitation to the NCAA Division II tournament, where the team competed but lost in the first round. However, it was the 18-game improvement over those two seasons that landed Macy the job as head coach at Francis Marion.
At Francis Marion, Macy went on a 3-year run that would be hard to match for any coach. Not only did she lead the Patriots to a 75-19 record, but her teams also made 3 NCAA tournament appearances, reaching the Sweet 16 once. For her performance a coach, Macy also was named Peach Belt Conference coach of the year both in 2008 and 2009.
“I had a blast in Florence (South Carolina). It was a three-year period of my life where we had a load of fun every day. I got sympathy cards from our fans after we didn’t make it to the championship, but I loved the winning and how the community supported us.”
After Macy’s Patriots were named top 20 of the 25 teams in the USA Today/ESPN Division II poll, another team came calling, this time it was East Carolina.
The pirates struggled in the first couple of years but Macy’s third to fifth year, they amassed a record of 66-30, with 22 wins in each of the seasons and three WNIT appearances. Macy coached the Pirates from 2010-2018, in which the Pirates went 134-117, and placed Macy as the all-time winningest coach in team history.
Last Summer, women’s basketball coach Heather Macy accepted the position as head coach of the Spartanburg Methodist College. What did she do? She continued her lifelong theme of winning. The Pioneers went 21-8 and became Region X and Southeast district champions.
Now entering the 20th year of her coaching career, many would think that Macy would consider herself at the pinnacle. However, she is adamant that her best days are still ahead.
“I’m coming out for the third quarter strong. I needed that quick water break. And now I’m looking forward to the next 20 (years) that tops my previous 20 years and has even bigger stories to tell people.”
She concluded, “I’m a better coach than I’ve ever been. Past 20 thank you for all the lessons, new 20 it’s time to have some fun.”