Dawn Staley has no interest in becoming Charlotte Hornets head coach. She explains why

Local and national media outlets have suggested South Carolina’s Dawn Staley as a candidate to fill the Charlotte Hornets head coaching job.

Over the last few weeks since Steve Clifford stepped down as coach, those suggestions have morphed into rumors that the NBA franchise is interested in bringing Staley on as his replacement.

But Staley confirmed in an interview on the “Wes & Walker” show on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ in Charlotte Tuesday that the rumors are just that: rumors.

The Hornets have not reached out to her, she said, and she has no interest in coaching professional basketball in the NBA or WNBA.

“My passion has always been young people,” Staley said in the interview. “I consider myself a ‘dream merchant’ for my players. And I really feel like this is my calling.”

She acknowledged the prospect of coaching professional basketball as a challenge, adding she’s drawn to challenges, but also reiterated that college ball is where her passion lies and will remain.

Aside from living about 90 miles south of the city where the Hornets play, Staley has a close connection with the city of Charlotte, having played for the now defunct Charlotte Sting of the WNBA.

Staley signed with the Sting in 1999 after two years in the ABL. She played an integral role in Charlotte’s 2001 WNBA Finals run, where the Sting ultimately fell to league MVP Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks.

If the Hornets were to reach out and ask Staley to interview, she would accept, she said Tuesday. Not because she’s interested in the job, but because she wants to gather information to help other women interviewing for head coaching jobs in the NBA.

“It’s all about information,” Staley said. “It’s all about passing information on.”

She interviewed with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2021, who ended up hiring Chauncey Billups.

But Staley said she felt like the organization treated her with genuine professionalism, regardless of whether it actually had any intention of hiring her. She used that opportunity to take diligent notes of every question they asked her.

That way she could help the next woman prepare.

After explaining her reasoning, Staley said with a laugh: “Now, I’ll say that, and then the Charlotte Hornets, even if they did have interest, they’re not gonna have interest in me now.”

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