GLORY DAYS! Meet Dawn Staley, former WNBA All-Star aiming for third March Madness triumph as head coach with South Carolina

DAWN Staley has been picking up awards throughout her storied career.

It’s no surprise to anyone that she has just been handed another one.


South Carolina coach Staley has enjoyed another stellar season

South Carolina coach Staley has enjoyed another stellar season
Credit: Getty

Staley gives her instructions to Gamecocks stars Raven Johnson and Te-Hina Paopao

Staley gives her instructions to Gamecocks stars Raven Johnson and Te-Hina PaopaoCredit: Getty

Staley’s South Carolina team has gone undefeated during the regular season season, plus the conference tournament.

And the Basketball Writers Association have named Staley their Women’s National Coach of the Year.

It’s the third year in a row that Staley has picked up this particular award, and the fourth time overall.

Staley’s life in basketball has been the stuff of folklore, going back to her early days.

She was in the WNBA All-Star team for six years in a row, mostly while she was with the Charlotte Sting and then the Houston Comets.

She played nearly 300 games over that seven-year period, starting all but a handful. In 2001, she led the Sting to the Championship game of the WNBA playoffs.


Staley pictured ahead of her second Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000

Staley pictured ahead of her second Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000Credit: Getty

Staley was a major star for her country too and played three times at the biggest sporting event of them all, the Olympic Games.

She led the United States to glory at their home Games of 1996 in Atlanta, with an undefeated record of 60–0.

The point guard was then part of the American team that defended their gold medal in Sydney at the 2000 Olympics. And Staley was celebrating a glorious hat-trick four years later when the US claimed another Olympic title in Athens.

The success continued into the coaching years, which started with the Temple Owls, where she was for eight years.

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And since 2008, South Carolina has been Staley’s sporting home.

She led the Gamecocks to the first national title in school history in 2017.

Staley repeated the feat in 2022 and will be aiming for a hat-trick of titles at March Madness this spring.

She insists close games in recent weeks will serve her team well in the battles to come.

“I mean, I look at an undefeated season, and it’s an undefeated season, but there were plenty of defeats within our season,” Staley said.

“We were down double digits several times. It took a miraculous shot by Kamilla (Cardoso against Tennessee) to continue to stay undefeated.

“So we’ve felt defeat. But again, this team finds a way to execute. They find a way to hold each other accountable. They find a way to win basketball games, but we don’t just rely on that either. We put a lot into our preparation.”

Staley has also been the United States coach, leading her country to the Olympic title at the delayed 2020 Games in Tokyo.





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