Former Gamecock bringing Dawn Staley-inspired culture to Allen women’s basketball

After eight different coaching jobs, Olivia Gaines is back in her home state.

“It eels like home, feels like I’ve never left,” said Gaines.

Gaines was hire by Allen University to take over its women’s basketball team.

“I know the area of Columbia,” said Gaines. “I love to recruit South Carolina kids, so yeah, I’m excited to be here and I think it’s going to be really, really special.”

Former Gamecock, Allen women's basketball head coach Olivia Gaines photo 1

Special is an understatement for what Gaines wants to achieve as the new head coach.

“Definitely 20 win plus season, I don’t know anything else but that, so that’s definitely the goal,” said Gaines. “Also, the goal is to win a conference championship.”

Gaines’ high expectations have been set from her experiences.

Gaines is a former Gamecock. In fact, she was a key piece in Dawn Staley’s first Final Four appearance in the 2014-15 season.

“I’m just a winner though, I’ve been about winning my whole career as playing, as far as coaching,” said Gaines.

After two years at a junior college where she won a national championship and earned player of the year, Gaines played her last two seasons for Staley.

“My role at South Carolina was to defend,” said Gaines. “That kind of just helped me fight through adversity in life so I forever applaud coach Staley for that.”

Gaines said she’ll run a fast transition offense like Staley, but it’s not just the x’s and o’s that she hopes to replicate.

“It’s her relationship with her players,” said Gaines. “I still have a relationship with her to this day.”

Gaines is now trying to pay it forward.

Kids deal with so much other stuff outside of basketball that some times coaches don’t even understand, so letting them know my door is always open,” said Gaines. “You can talk to me about whatever. I’m here for you.

With a culture in place it’s now time to recruit.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy - © 2024 News