Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Dawn Staley has been named the AP Coach of the Year for the second time in South Carolina

Dawn Staley did a masterful job guiding a young South Carolina team back to the Final Four with an undefeated record for the second straight season.

Dawn Staley did an excellent job leading a young South Carolina team to the Final Four with an undefeated record for the second straight season.

Staley was recognized on Thursday as The Associated Press women’s college basketball Coach of the Year for the second time. She got 27 votes from the 35-member national media panel who vote on the AP Top 25 each week. She also won the award in 2020.

Staley is now among a select group of coaches, including Geno Auriemma (9), Muffet McGraw (4), Kim Mulkey (3), and Brenda Frese (2), who have won the AP award multiple times since it was first given in 1995.

Lindsay Gottlieb of Southern California, Felisha Legette-Jack of Syracuse, and Scott Rueck of Oregon State tied for second with two votes each. The voting took place before the NCAA Tournament.

South Carolina is set to play North Carolina State on Friday night in a national semifinal and is expected to win its second title in three years and third overall, all since 2017. The Gamecocks are two wins away from completing the 10th undefeated season in NCAA Division I history.

Since arriving in 2008, Staley has transformed the program into a powerhouse. Last year’s team was anticipated to secure another championship until Iowa defeated the Gamecocks in the Final Four. This season, Staley had to replace her entire starting lineup and still guided them back to the semifinals for a fourth consecutive year.

She has developed a fanbase that has led the nation in attendance for the past 10 years. In 2021, the school announced a new, seven-year contract that will pay her $2.9 million this season and increase to $3.5 million in the final season of 2027-28. She then mentioned that the $22.4 million deal should create an impact and possibly lead to equality in the men’s and women’s games.

Throughout her journey, Staley has become a leading voice in the women’s game. As the first Black coach to win two NCAA titles, she has used her success as a platform to advocate for issues off the court. She continues to speak out about gender equality, diversity, and opportunities for women.

Staley has also been a vocal supporter of her players and athletes in general. When asked about her team being called bullies, she replied, “That’s a good question. We’re not bar fighters. We’re not thugs. We’re not monkeys. We’re not street fighters.”

“If you really knew them, if you really knew them, like you really want to know other players that represent this game, you would think differently,” she added. “So don’t judge us by the color of our skin. Judge us by how we approach the game.”

“If you really knew them, if you really knew them, like you really want to know other players that represent this game, you would think differently,” she added. “So don’t judge us by the color of our skin. Judge us by how we approach the game.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments