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Staley Makes History as Naismith Coach of the Year
Women's Basketball  . 

Staley Makes History as Naismith Coach of the Year

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley was named the 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff announced today. It is the fourth season she has earned the title, including becoming the first men’s or women’s coach to pick up the award in three consecutive seasons.

“Being named Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year is always an honor and always the work of every coach, every person on our staff,” Staley said. “When we first brought this team together last summer, I don’t think any of our staff would have predicted the position this particular group of young women have put us in this week. But, we all stuck with it; we adapted to what our players were capable of at each step in their development. And the result has been one of the most fun seasons I’ve had in my coaching career, and I credit our players for that, for showing us that there’s more than one path toward a goal.”

Staley has led her team to its third-straight NCAA Tournament overall No. 1 seed with the Gamecocks entering the NCAA Tournament undefeated for the second-consecutive season and advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the fourth-straight season. After losing seven players to graduation, including all five starters from the 2023 NCAA Final Four team, Staley entered the season with just one player who had ever started a game as a Gamecock. Still the talent level that returned and was added via the transfer portal and the signing class had the team slotted at No. 6/4 in the preseason national polls. South Carolina dominated its historic season-opening top-10 matchup against Notre Dame in Paris and shot to the top of both polls, where it remained for the entire season. The Gamecocks’ nine wins over ranked opponents are tied for the most in the country.

South Carolina swept the SEC Regular-Season and Tournament titles for the sixth time in the last 10 seasons, posting a perfect 16-0 SEC regular-season record for the third time in program history. Already named National Coach of the Year by The Athletic, ESPN, The Sporting News and USBWA, Staley drew SEC Coach of the Year honors from her colleagues for the seventh time this season, leaving her just one behind legendary Pat Summitt for the most selections in league history.

No. 1/1 South Carolina is in the NCAA Final Four for the fourth-straight season and sixth in the last nine tournaments and will face No. 11/11 NC State on Fri., Apr. 5, at 7 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on ESPN.

Continue to check and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on South Carolina women’s basketball.