South Carolina head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley has long been a legend in USA Basketball. A three-time gold medal winner as a player, Staley is known as one of the best women's basketball players of all time.
Now, she'll get to lead the USA women's basketball team for at least the next three years.
Staley, who has had a long and illustrious USA Basketball career that began as an athlete in 1989, and most recently as an assistant coach for the gold medalist 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team, was named head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team through 2020 on Friday, March 10.
With Staley at the helm, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will compete in the 2018 FIBA World Cup (Sept. 22-30 in Spain) and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24 – Aug. 9 in Tokyo, Japan), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
Staley’s selection was made by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Steering Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“Being named head coach of the USA National Team is a tremendous honor,” said Staley, who was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. “As a player, I was humbled each time I wore the uniform and this feels no different. I will do my very best to uphold the standards and winning tradition of the national team, and must thank the selection committee for having faith in my abilities as a coach to trust me with such an important role. I would also like to thank my teams at Temple and South Carolina for putting me in this coveted position. They allowed me to learn and grow on the job and I am truly grateful.”
The U.S. and Staley will first look to capture the title at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball, scheduled to be played Sept. 22-30 in Spain, with an automatic berth to the 2020 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in 2018, it would have two additional opportunities to qualify for the Olympics: the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup (dates and site TBD); and 2020 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
The 2016 Olympic finish marked the USA’s sixth-straight Olympic gold medal, and Staley was on the roster for five of those titles -- three times as an athlete (1996, 2000, 2004) and twice as an assistant coach (2008, 2016).
“I am delighted that Dawn Staley has agreed to lead our USA Basketball Women’s National Team through 2020,” said retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA Basketball Chairman. “She is a terrific coach and a great leader on and off the court. She has been part of USA Basketball for nearly three decades. I had the opportunity to get to know Dawn and watch her work as an assistant to Geno Auriemma at the 2016 Olympic Games. I am confident that she will continue to build upon the USA Basketball Women’s National Team's legacy of excellence.”
Staley won a total of 10 gold medals as an athlete, including three Olympic and two FIBA World Championship gold medals, one bronze medal and seven international invitational titles from 1989-2004. She then transitioned into the coaching ranks, received her first USA Basketball coaching assignment as an assistant to the 2006 USA World Championship Team and was later asked to remain on board through the 2008 Olympics. With Staley on the sideline, the USA National Team from 2006-08 posted a 32-2 record, captured the 2008 Olympic and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship gold medals and the 2006 FIBA World Championship bronze medal.
Not only has Staley coached the top-tier USA Basketball teams, she’s also headed up a number of coaching staffs at the USA Basketball junior level, and three years pulled double-duty as a head coach for a USA junior team and an assistant coach for the USA National Team.
Prior to the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship Staley received her first USA head coaching nod at the helm of the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team and did not disappoint. Taking a group of collegians to Brazil to compete against seasoned, international veterans, Staley piloted the USA Pan Am Team to a perfect 5-0 slate and the gold medal.
In 2014 Staley served as an assistant coach for the USA World Championship Team that captured gold and also was the head coach for the gold-medal winning 2014 USA U18 National Team.
The following year Staley was head coach for the gold-medal winning 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team and was on hand as an assistant as the USA National Team went 4-0 in its 2015 European tour against teams from Spain, Italy and Czech Republic.
For her efforts in 2015, Staley was named as co-recipient of the USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award.
In all, USA Basketball teams with Staley on the sideline own an overall record of 80-4 (.952 winning percentage) and USA teams are 21-0 with Staley serving as head coach.
Having recently wrapped up her ninth regular season (2008-09 to present) at South Carolina with her fourth-straight Southeastern Conference regular season title and third-straight SEC Tournament crown, Staley owns an overall record of 215-80 (.729 winning percentage) at the school. She has posted 25-win seasons in each of the past six years and will head into the 2017 NCAA Tournament ranked No. 4 in the nation with a 27-4 record.
Last year, Staley led her 2015-16 squad to a 33-2 record, including a perfect 16-0 in Southeastern Conference play, the SEC Tournament title and the NCAA Sweet 16.
In her most successful season as a head coach to date, Staley led her team in 2014-15 to a 34-3 record, a share of the SEC regular season title, the SEC Tournament crown and was a Co-SEC Coach of the Year. She piloted South Carolina to its first NCAA Final Four in program history. Further, the Gamecocks also reached the No. 1 spot in the national polls for the first time in history.
Prior to arriving at South Carolina, Staley was the head coach at Temple for eight years (2000-01 through 2007-08), where she took over a program that had not seen a winning record since 1989-90 and had never won the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
Including her eight seasons as head coach at Temple University, Staley owns a career coaching record of 387-160 (.707winning percentage) in nearly 17 years as a collegiate head coach.
**Release by South Carolina Athletics Media Relations/photo by Allen Sharpe**