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Dawn Staley

Head Coach, University of South Carolina Women's Basketball team

Dawn Michelle Staley (born May 4, 1970)[1] is an American basketball Hall of Fame player and coach who is currently the head coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Staley won three Olympic gold medals with Team USA as a player and later was head coach of another U.S. gold-medal-winning team. Staley was elected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. After playing point guard for the University of Virginia under Debbie Ryan, and winning the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she went on to play professionally in the American Basketball League and the WNBA. In 2011, fans named Staley one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Staley was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. While still a WNBA player, she started coaching the Temple University Owls women’s basketball team in 2000. In eight years at Temple, she led the program to six NCAA tournaments, three regular-season conference championships, and four conference tournament titles. On May 7, 2008, she was named head coach for women’s basketball at the University of South Carolina. Staley built South Carolina from the ground up. In her first six seasons as head coach, she improved her program’s record every year, winning the SEC in 2013–2014. In late 2014 her team achieved the program’s first #1 ranking, making her only the second individual to both play on and coach a #1 ranked team. Staley has gone on to lead South Carolina to six SEC regular season championships, six SEC tournament championships, eight Sweet Sixteens, four Final Fours, and two NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championships. On April 2, 2020, Staley became the first person to win the Naismith Award as both a player and a coach. She also won the other three major National Coach of the Year awards after she led her team to a 32-win season and a final ranking of #1 in both major polls. Staley served as the United States women’s national team head coach from 2017–2021, finishing with a perfect 45–0 record, before returning full-time to South Carolina. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Staley won her first gold medal as head coach for Team USA, and fourth overall, winning all six games. On April 3, 2022, Staley led the Gamecocks to their 2nd national title with a 64–49 win over UConn, finishing the season 35–2 and being ranked #1 in both major polls for the entire season. Staley again would be named Naismith Award winner as the best coach in the nation for 2022.

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