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Dawn Staley Biography

Dawn Staley has had a wonderful career as both a player and a coach to this day. She is a three time Olympic Gold Medalist and is known around the women’s basketball world as one of the greatest coaches around. So when she accepted an offer by the South Carolina Gamecocks to be their head coach, people immediately took note of the Gamecocks as potential threats to the reigning powers of SEC Women's basketball.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley.
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley reacts to a call on the court.
Thanks to Kelly M. Lambert from Flikr.com for this great picture of Dawn Staley.

Staley graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992 with a Bachelor Degree in Rhetoric and Communication Studies. She played for the women’s basketball team there, and was named Rookie of the Year in 1989. She went on to lead the team to 3 NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances, and was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament in 1991. She was also named National Player of the Year twice, in 1991 and 1992, and was named an All-American for three consecutive years from 1990-1992. She has since been inducted into Virginia’s Hall of Fame in 2008 for her years of hard work and talent that she brought to the court.

After her graduation from college, she joined the USA Women’s Basketball team. While she was playing for the US, she led the team to three Olympic Gold Medals in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Games. She also helped the team to win the bronze in the FIBA World Championships as well. She ended her career as a professional basketball player with ten bronze medals to her name, as well as her three gold medals in the Olympics.

Dawn Staley - Storm vs Sting.
Dawn Staley - Storm vs Sting, 2001.
Thanks to ntisocl from Flikr.com for this great picture of Dawn Staley.

Staley’s first coaching job was offered to her by the Temple Owls in 2001. There, she proceeded to completely revitalize the program, and in only her second season, was able to lead the team to its first Atlantic-10 Tournament title in the school’s history; there were three more to come, with Staley leading the Owls to three straight titles from 2004-2006. She would go on to lead the team to six seasons in which they would win at least 20 games, along with postseason appearances in seven of her eight seasons with the Owls.

Her final record with the Temple Owls was 172-80, a winning percentage of .683, which cemented her as the winningest coach in Temple’s history. Staley won A-10 Coach of the Year twice in 2004 and 2005, and is thought of to be one of the best up and coming coaches in the sport today. She also helped to coach the 2008 women’s basketball team to a gold medal in Beijing Olympics.

Staley’s first two seasons at South Carolina have been more about rebuilding the once proud program. Her first season, she ended with a 10-18 record (2-12 conference). Her second season showed a marked improvement in the division as the Gamecocks went 14-15 with a 7-9 SEC record. She looks to be on track for another remarkable turn-around, and everyone in the SEC is paying attention.

Dawn Staley at Beijing.
Dawn Staley at Beijing, Basketball USA v RUS.
Thanks to ntisocl from Flikr.com for this great picture of Dawn Staley.

Check out our current preview of South Carolina Gamecocks Women's Basketball.

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