Women’s Basketball tends to be a forgotten aspect of the sports world. One person who has huge potential to be a pioneer is the Head Coach of the South Carolina Women’s Basketball team Dawn Staley. The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved a historic seven-year, $22.4 million contract extension for women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley. South Carolina announced Staley’s base salary will be “$1 million per year with outside compensation starting at $1.9 million in the first year and escalating by $100,000 per year thereafter.” The head coach’s 2021-22 compensation “begins at $2.9 million with the final year topping out at $3.5 million,” per the school.
Launching South Carolina into the national spotlight along with Women’s Basketball, Dawn Staley has made the Gamecocks a mainstay in the battle for SEC and national championships. Under her leadership, the Gamecocks have reached many firsts – National Championship, NCAA Final Fours, No. 1 rankings, SEC regular-season and tournament titles, SEC Player of the Year, National Player of the Year, WNBA No. 1 draft pick, and No. 1 recruiting classes – to name the most notable.
Staley graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies. She played for the Virginia women’s basketball team and was named Rookie of the Year in 1989. She went on to lead the team to three NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances and was named the 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 the years of hard work and talent that she brought to the court. That’s just a little background on who the Gamecocks extended.
Other accomplishments under Coach Staley’s 13 seasons include a 2017 NCAA National Championship, Three NCAA Final Fours in the last six tournaments (2015, 2017, 2021), Ranking in the AP Top 25 every week since Dec. 10, 2012, including 95 weeks in the top five, nine 25-win seasons, including four 30-win campaigns led by a school-record 34 victories in 2014-15.
This is just a small piece of a bigger picture. The spotlight needs to be shined on these women as they can be pioneers for women’s equality outside of sports. All it takes is more exposure to the world.
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