Dawn Staley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dawn Staley
Dawn Staley at Paradise Jam 2012.jpg
Staley in 2012
South Carolina Gamecocks
PositionHead coach
LeagueSoutheastern Conference
Personal information
Born (1970-05-04) May 4, 1970 (age 49)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Listed height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Listed weight134 lb (61 kg)
Career information
High schoolDobbins Tech
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
CollegeVirginia (1988–1992)
WNBA draft1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Charlotte Sting
Playing career1996–2006
Coaching career2000–present
Career history
As player:
1996–1998Richmond / Philadelphia Rage
1999–2005Charlotte Sting
2005–2006Houston Comets
As coach:
2008–presentSouth Carolina
2017–presentUnited States
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Stats at WNBA.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Dawn Michelle Staley (born May 4, 1970)[1] is an American basketball Hall of Fame player and coach. Staley is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and was elected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. After playing point guard for the University of Virginia under Debbie Ryan, and winning the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, she went to play professionally in the American Basketball League and the WNBA. In 2011, Staley was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

While still a WNBA player, she started coaching the Temple University Owls women's basketball team in 2000. In six years at Temple, she led the program to six NCAA tournaments, three regular season conference championships, and four conference tournament titles.

On May 7, 2008, she was named the University of South Carolina women's head basketball coach. Over the following six seasons, she improved her program's record every year, up to winning the SEC in 2013–2014. In late 2014 her team achieved the program's first #1 ranking, making her only the second individual to both play on and coach a #1 ranked team. Staley has gone on to lead South Carolina to four SEC regular season championships, four SEC tournament championships, six Sweet Sixteens, two Final Fours, and On April 2, 2017, she guided the South Carolina Gamecocks to the programs's first NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship.

On March 10, 2017, she was named head coach of USA national team.[2]

Playing career[edit]

High school years[edit]

Staley was named the national high school player of the year during her final season at Murrell Dobbins Tech High School in Philadelphia.

College years[edit]

Staley attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, from which she earned her degree in Rhetoric and Communication Studies.[3] During her four seasons in college, she led her team to four NCAA Tournaments, three Final Fours and one National Championship game. She was named the ACC female athlete of the year and the national player of the year in 1991 and 1992. Staley finished her college career with 2,135 points and held the NCAA record for career steals with 454 (which has since been broken by current record holder, Natalie White).[4] She finished her career at Virginia as the school's all-time scoring leader and as the ACC's all-time leader in assists at 729, but those records have since been broken by former UVA stars Monica Wright and Sharnee Zoll, respectively. Her number 24 is retired at UVA.

In 1994–1995, after graduation, Staley played professional basketball in France in Tarbes, Italy, Brazil, and Spain before joining the ABL and then the WNBA.

Virginia statistics[edit]


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1989 Virginia 31 574 45.7% 35.5% 83.1% 5.1 4.6 3.3 0.3 18.5
1990 Virginia 32 574 45.2% 34.6% 78.1% 6.7 4.4 3.2 0.5 17.9
1991 Virginia 34 495 45.0% 32.4% 82.4% 6.1 6.9 3.9 0.3 14.6
1992 Virginia 34 492 48.4% 30.3% 80.8% 5.6 6.1 3.4 0.5 14.5
Career 131 2135 46.0% 33.4% 81.1% 5.9 5.6 3.5 0.4 16.3

USA Basketball[edit]

Staley was named to the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team (now called the U19 team). The team participated in the second Junior World Championship, held in Bilbao, Spain, in July 1989. The USA team lost their opening game to South Korea in overtime, then lost a two-point game to Australia. After winning their next game against Bulgaria, the USA team again fell in a close game, losing by three points to Czechoslovakia. After beating Zaire in their next game, the USA team played Spain, and fell three points short. Staley averaged 10.8 points per game and recorded 14 steals over the course of the event, both second-highest on the team. The USA team finished in seventh place.[6]

Staley was named to the team representing the US at the World University Games held during July 1991 in Sheffield, England. While the USA team had won gold in 1983, they finished with the silver in 1985, in fifth place in 1987, and did not field a team in 1989. The team was coached by Tara VanDerveer of Stanford. After winning opening games easily, the USA faced China in the medal round. The USA shot only 36% from the field, but limited the team from China to 35%, and won, 79–76, to advance to the gold medal game. There they faced 7–0 Spain, but won, 88–62, to claim the gold medal. Staley averaged 4.9 points per game.[7]

Staley competed with USA Basketball as a member of the 1992 Jones Cup Team that won the Gold in Taipei.[8]

Staley played for Team USA throughout her career. In 1994 she competed in the World Championships and was named the USA basketball Female Athlete of the Year. She led the 1996 team to an undefeated record of 60–0 and the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. She was also a member of the 2000 Olympic team that defended the gold medal.

Staley was selected to represent the US at the 1995 USA Women's Pan American Games, however, only four teams committed to participate, so the event was cancelled.[9]

Staley was named to the USA national team in 1998. The national team traveled to Berlin, Germany, in July and August 1998 for the FIBA World Championships. The USA team won a close opening game against Japan, 95–89, then won their next six games easily. In the semifinal game against Brazil, the USA team was behind as much as ten points in the first half, but went on to win, 93–79. The gold medal game was a rematch against Russia. In the first game, the USA team dominated almost from the beginning, but in the rematch, the team from Russia took the early lead and led much of the way. With under two minutes remaining, the USA was down by two points but the USA responded, then held on to win the gold medal, 71–65. Staley hit two free throws with ten seconds left to extend a three-point lead to five points, then hit another free throw with three seconds left in the game to "seal the 71–65 victory". Staley averaged 7.0 points per game and made a record 52 assists.[10]

In 2002, Staley was named to the national team which competed in the World Championships in Zhangjiagang, Changzhou and Nanjing, China. The team was coached by Van Chancellor. Staley scored 4.9 points per game, and recorded a team-high 24 assists. The USA team won all nine games, including a close title game against Russia, which was a one-point game late in the game.[11]

She won a third gold medal with Team USA at the 2004 Games in Athens. Her Olympic performance led to her being named 2004 USA Basketball Female Athlete Of The Year at the end of the year. Before the Games, she was selected to carry the flag of the United States during the parade of nations at the opening ceremony.


In 1996, she joined the Richmond Rage of the American Basketball League (ABL) and led the team to the ABL finals in 1997. The following season, the team moved to Staley's hometown of Philadelphia. Staley was named the 1996–1997 All-ABL first team and the All-ABL second team, the following season.


In the 1999 WNBA Draft, Staley was selected with the ninth overall pick by the Charlotte Sting. In 2001, she led the Sting to the Championship game of the WNBA playoffs.

On August 1, 2005, Staley was traded to the Houston Comets. Staley announced before the start of the WNBA season that she would be retiring after the Comets season was over. The Comets made the playoffs and faced the Sacramento Monarchs in the first round. The Monarchs swept the Comets and won the series 2–0, ending Staley's career. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen-year history of the WNBA.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high League leader
Regular season[edit]
1999 Charlotte 32 32 33.3 .415 .317 .934 2.3 5.5 1.2 0.1 2.81 11.5
2000 Charlotte 32 32 34.3 .372 .330 .878 2.4 5.9 1.2 0.0 2.84 8.8
2001 Charlotte 32 32 36.0 .381 .371 .895 2.2 5.6 1.6 0.0 3.13 9.3
2002 Charlotte 32 32 33.2 .364 .398 .762 1.8 5.1 1.5 0.0 2.50 8.7
2003 Charlotte 34 34 31.9 .417 .389 .836 1.7 5.1 1.4 0.1 2.29 7.9
2004 Charlotte 34 34 33.6 .431 .407 .759 1.7 5.0 1.3 0.1 2.18 8.9
2005* Charlotte 23 23 29.7 .405 .405 .767 2.3 5.3 1.3 0.0 1.83 6.3
2005* Houston 10 3 22.1 .357 .286 .900 1.7 2.8 0.6 0.1 1.20 3.3
2005 Total 33 26 27.4 .396 .375 .800 2.1 4.5 1.1 0.0 1.64 5.4
2006 Houston 34 34 29.9 .420 .427 .806 2.2 3.9 1.0 0.2 2.24 7.4
Career 8 years, 2 teams 263 256 32.4 .399 .376 .824 2.0 5.1 1.3 0.1 2.44 7.5
1999 Charlotte 4 4 39.3 .325 .438 .833 1.3 5.8 0.8 0.0 2.75 12.0
2001 Charlotte 8 8 37.6 .416 .500 .810 2.3 4.4 1.1 0.3 4.25 11.8
2002 Charlotte 2 2 39.0 .286 .200 .500 2.5 5.0 1.5 0.0 2.00 8.5
2003 Charlotte 2 2 29.0 .353 .500 .400 2.5 3.5 2.0 0.0 2.00 9.0
2005 Houston 5 0 25.0 .462 .375 .857 0.8 2.8 1.8 0.0 1.40 4.2
2006 Houston 2 2 20.0 .143 .333 .000 2.5 1.0 0.0 0.0 2.00 1.5
Career 6 years, 2 teams 23 18 33.0 .366 .423 .754 1.8 4.0 1.2 0.1 2.78 8.7

Coaching career[edit]

Staley had no interest in coaching when she was initially approached by the athletic director of Temple University, Dave O’Brien. She was on the Olympic team at the time which was attending the Final Four in Philadelphia. O’Brien talked her into visiting the campus, where she was guided to a conference room with a dozen people who were treating her visit as a job interview. When they asked her if she saw herself as a coach she replied “no, not at all”. She initially resisted offers to become the coach. O’Brien changed his tactics and challenged her to identify some ways to turn the program around. She was still playing in the WNBA at the time and her friends told her it would be impossible to continue to play and coach. That challenge convinced her she should try so she accepted the position of head coach at Temple.[13] In her first season, 2000–01, Temple advanced to the WNIT. In 2001, 2002, and 2004, her teams won the Atlantic 10 tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

In the 2004–05 season, Staley's Owls went 28–4, including a perfect 19–0 against Atlantic 10 opponents. However, they lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Rutgers University. Staley reached the 100-win plateau in the A-10 Semifinals vs Xavier University that season, becoming the fastest coach in women's basketball to achieve that.

On May 7, 2008, it was confirmed by Temple University that Staley would leave Temple for the recently vacated coaching position at the University of South Carolina. She left Temple with the best overall record of 172–80, along with six NCAA appearances and four Atlantic 10 titles.

At South Carolina she started rebuilding a program from scratch, suffering through two losing seasons at the start of her tenure. Starting with 10 wins during the 2008–2009 season, she led the program to ever better finishes in each subsequent season, leading to the program's first number 1 ranking and Final Four appearance during the 2014–2015 season. They picked up where they left off a year later, going undefeated in SEC play; however, they were upended in the Sweet 16 by Syracuse.

In 2016–17, the Gamecocks repeated as SEC regular season and tournament champions for the third year in a row, and advanced to the second Final Four in school history. They defeated conference rival Mississippi State in the national championship game to win the first national title in school history.[14] Staley became the second African American to lead a women's basketball team to a national championship; Carolyn Peck had coached Purdue to the 1999 national championship.

Under Staley the program captured four SEC regular season championships, four SEC tournament titles, two Final Fours, one NCAA National Championship, six sweet sixteen appearances, the 2nd ranked recruiting class in 2014, five SEC player of the year awards and three SEC freshman of the year awards. Staley herself was awarded SEC coach of the year three times and also the Basketball Times Coach of the Year in 2014.

College coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Temple (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2000–2008)
2000–01 Temple 19–11 11–5 3rd WNIT 1st Round
2001–02 Temple 20–11 12–4 T–1st (East) NCAA 1st Round
2002–03 Temple 14–15 9–7 2nd (East)
2003–04 Temple 21–10 14–2 1st (East) NCAA 1st Round
2004–05 Temple 28–4 16–0 1st (East) NCAA 2nd Round
2005–06 Temple 24–8 12–4 3rd NCAA 1st Round
2006–07 Temple 25–8 13–1 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2007–08 Temple 21–13 12–2 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
Temple: 172–80 (.683) 99–25 (.798)
South Carolina (Southeastern Conference) (2008–present)
2008–09 South Carolina 10–18 2–12 11th
2009–10 South Carolina 14–15 7–9 T–7th
2010–11 South Carolina 18–15 8–8 T–5th WNIT 2nd Round
2011–12 South Carolina 25–10 10–6 T–4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2012–13 South Carolina 25–8 11–5 T–4th NCAA 2nd Round
2013–14 South Carolina 29–5 14–2 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2014–15 South Carolina 34–3 15–1 T–1st NCAA Final Four
2015–16 South Carolina 33–2 16–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2016–17 South Carolina 33–4 14–2 1st NCAA Champions
2017–18 South Carolina 29–7 12–4 T–2nd NCAA Elite Eight
2018–19 South Carolina 23–10 13–3 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2019–20 South Carolina 18–1 6–0
South Carolina: 291–98 (.748) 128–52 (.711)
Total: 463–178 (.722)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Coaching USA Basketball[edit]

Dawn Staley served as an assistant coach for the USA National team in 2006, a team in transition. Lisa Leslie, who had led the team in scoring in the 2004 Olympics, the 2002 World Championships, the 2000 Olympics, the 1998 World Championships, and the 1996 Olympics was no longer on the team. Sheryl Swoopes was available but hampered by injuries, with Staley transitioning from player to coach. Newcomers Sue Bird, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi picked up the slack, but it was a team in transition. As an additional challenge, some members of the squad were unable to join the team for practices due to WNBA commitments. The team started out strong, winning each of the six preliminary games, including the game against Russia. In the quarterfinals, the USA team beat Spain 90–56. The semifinal was a rematch against Russia, but this time the Russian team prevailed, 75–68. The USA faced Brazil in the bronze medal game, and won easily 99–59.[15]

During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Staley served as an assistant coach under Team USA head coach Anne Donovan and helped the Americans win their fourth straight gold medal in women's basketball and sixth in their past seven Olympic appearances.

After coaching Team USA to a Gold medal at the 2007 Pan Am games, she served as head coach to the U17 Team in 2014 and the U19 Team in 2015, winning gold medals at the U18 Americas Championship and the U19 FIBA World Championship. The USA basketball organization awarded her the code national coach of the year award as a result of the U 19 gold-medal. She shared the award with Sean Miller who coached the U19 men's team to a gold medal.[16]

She served as an assistant coach under Team USA head coach Geno Auriemma for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and helped the Americans win their sixth straight gold medal in women's basketball and eighth in their past nine Olympic appearances.

On March 10, 2017 she was named head coach of USA National team[17]

Awards and honors[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Staley now heads the Dawn Staley Foundation, which gives middle-school children a positive influence in their lives by sponsoring an after-school program at the Hank Gathers Recreation Center. The Center focuses on academics and athletics and sponsors basketball leagues and other fund-raising activities. She is also currently writing a four-book series loosely based on her childhood.

  • She gave her 1996 Olympic gold medal to her mother, Estelle, whom she cites as the biggest influence in her life.
  • In 1996, she appeared in an episode of the television series Martin, along with other members of the 1996 USA Basketball Women's Team: Rebecca Lobo, Sheryl Swoopes, and Teresa Edwards.
  • July 24, 2004, was proclaimed Dawn Staley Day in Charlotte by Mayor Pat McCrory.
  • In 2006, she became part owner of a company proposing a casino in South Philadelphia.[22] The casino never opened, due to community opposition and financial difficulties.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  2. ^ "Dawn Staley To Head USA National Team Through 2020". Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dawn Staley to be Honored With UVa's Distinguished Alumna Award". Virginia Sports. April 7, 2006. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  4. ^ http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/w_basketball_RB/2018/D1.pdf
  5. ^ "Women's Basketball Finest" (PDF). fs.ncaa.org. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "Second FIBA Women's U19/Junior World Championship – 1989". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Fifteenth World University Games – 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  8. ^ "1992 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Twelvth [sic] Pan American Games – 1995". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "Thirteenth World Championship For Women – 1998". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Fourteenth World Championship For Women – 2002". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  12. ^ "WNBA.com: AllStar 2011". www.WNBA.com. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "South Carolina's Dawn Staley emerging as new face of women's basketball". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Matt Connolly (2017-04-02). "South Carolina wins NCAA women's national championship". thestate.com. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  15. ^ "FIFTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN – 2006". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Staley Named USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year". thestate.com. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  17. ^ "Dawn Staley To Head USA National Team Through 2020". Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  19. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  20. ^ "Former UVa Great Dawn Staley Named To Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012". Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  21. ^ "Staley to be Awarded Order of the Palmetto". GamecocksOnline.com. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  22. ^ "Casino projects aren't all alike". bizjournals.com. Retrieved April 3, 2017.

External links[edit]