The Dawn of Champions – Staley leads Lady Gamecocks


In the world of South Carolina sports, did you know that our Women’s Basketball team is ranked #2 in the nation going into this season? If the answer is no, you should keep reading and gain the incentive to start watching and supporting our amazing Lady Gamecocks and their awe inspiring head coach, Dawn Staley.

Two words, too many achievements to list: Dawn Staley.  The Gameocks’ head coach is not only an amazing, highly successful college and WNBA player, she’s a three time Olympian, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, multiple award winning coach and she’s successfully turned our basketball program around in an incredibly short amount of time.

Dawn played college ball at the University of Virgnia, played for the Charlotte Sting from 1999-2005, played one year for the Houston Comets, coached Temple University from 2000-2008 with an overall 172-80 record and managed to compete and coach in the Olympics, all before coming to USC in 2008.

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Since ’08, Dawn has increased the overall USC wins, year over year, including three consecutive NCAA playoff runs, two of which went to Sweet Sixteen (’11-’12 and ’13-’14). She’s been named the National Coach of the Year for 2014, SEC Coach of the Year 2014 and BCA Female Coach of the Year 2012.

Last season the Gamecocks finished 29-5 overall, 14-2 conference.  They were one win shy of the overall school record.

Not only is Dawn the epitome of everything you could want in a coach: one that has the heart for the game, knows how to play and win and most importantly, can teach and coach others to win, she also does amazing things for the children.  She runs the Dawn Staley Foundation, which is an after school program for middle schoolers and she runs a local basketball camp for girls between 6th and 12th grade that offers the foundations of basketball, skill camp and team building exercises.  When I asked her what her favorite part of being head coach, this is what she had to say:

The Women’s Basketball team made a four part mini series highlighting their upcoming season.  If you’re new to the sport, the coach or our team, it’s a great video to gain some insight into what to expect this season. Check out part one here and part four is currently available on the University’s website.

In case you missed it, the Lady Gamecocks hosted an exhibition game against Coker College this past week and dominated them 100-25.  The first season game for the #2 Gamecocks is this Saturday, Nov. 15, versus the University of Southern California (the OTHER USC) at 7 p.m. in Columbia.  Make sure to tune in to witness something and someone amazing!