Dawn Staley

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Dawn Staley
Dawn Staley at Paradise Jam 2012.jpg
Born (1970-05-04) May 4, 1970 (age 44)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Listed height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Listed weight 134 lb (61 kg)
College Virginia
WNBA draft 9th overall, 1999
Charlotte Sting
WNBA career 1999–2006
Profile WNBA player profile
WNBA teams
Charlotte Sting (1999–2005)
Houston Comets (2005–2006)
Awards and honors
WNBA All-Star (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
In 2005, named the recipient of the Woman One Award for community and public service and a runner- up for the first-annual Wooden Cup Award, named after John Wooden.
Dawn Staley
Medal record
Women’s basketball
Assistant coach for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 2008 Beijing Team competition
World Cup
Bronze 2006 Barueri and Sao Paulo Team competition
Head coach for the  United States
Pan American Games
Gold 2007 Rio Team competition

Dawn Michelle Staley (born May 4, 1970) is an American basketball hall of fame player and coach. Staley is a three-time Olympian and was elected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. After 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.

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. 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 holds the NCAA record for career steals with 454. 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 1994-5, after graduation, Staley played professional basketball in France in Tarbes, Italy, Brazil, and Spain before joining the ABL and then the WNBA.


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.


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.[1]

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.[2]

Staley was named to the team representing the USA 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.[3]

Staley competed with USA Basketball as a member of the 1992 Jones Cup Team that won the Gold in Taipei.[4]

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 Olympic games in Atlanta. She was also a member of the 2000 Olympic team that defended the gold medal.

Staley was selected to represent the USA at the 1995 USA Women's Pan American Games, however, only four teams committed to participate, so the event was cancelled.[5]

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 the USA 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 threw 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.[6]

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.[7]

She won a third gold medal with Team USA at the 2004 Games in Athens. Her Olympic performance lead 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.

Awards and honors[edit]

USA Basketball as coach[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.[10]

WNBA 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]


Coaching career[edit]

Dawn Staley
Sport(s) Women's basketball
Current position
Team South Carolina
Conference SEC
Playing career
1989-1992 University of Virginia
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2000 - 2008
2008 -
Temple University
South Carolina
Head coaching record
Overall 325–153 (.680)
Accomplishments and honors
Atlantic 10: 2004, 2005, 2008
SEC: 2014, 2015
SEC Tournament: 2015
Atlantic 10 COY: 2004, 2005
SEC COY: 2014, 2015
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2013

After the 1999–2000 college basketball season, Temple University named Staley the head coach of its women's basketball program. In her first season, 2000–01, Temple University advanced to the WNIT. In 2001, 2002, and 2004, her teams won the Atlantic 10 tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

In 2004–05 season, Staley's Owls went 28–4 on the year, including a perfect 19–0 against Atlantic 10 opponents. However, they lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Rutgers. 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.

During the 2008 Summer Olympic Games 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.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Temple (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2000–2008)
2000–2001 Temple 19–11 11–5 3rd WNIT 1st Round
2001–2002 Temple 20–11 12–4 T–1st (East) NCAA 1st Round
2002–2003 Temple 14–15 9–7 2nd (East)
2003–2004 Temple 21–10 14–2 1st (East) NCAA 1st Round
2004–2005 Temple 28–4 16–0 1st (East) NCAA 2nd Round
2005–2006 Temple 24–8 12–4 3rd NCAA 1st Round
2006–2007 Temple 25–8 13–1 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2007–2008 Temple 21–13 12–2 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
Temple: 172–80 (.683) 99–25 (.798)
South Carolina (Southeastern Conference) (2008–present)
2008–2009 South Carolina 10–18 2–12 11th
2009–2010 South Carolina 14–15 7–9 T–7th
2010–2011 South Carolina 18–15 8–8 T–5th WNIT 2nd Round
2011–2012 South Carolina 25–10 10–6 T–4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2012–2013 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 34-2 15-1 T-1st NCAA TBD
South Carolina: 155–73 (.680) 67–43 (.609)
Total: 327–153 (.681)

      National 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

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.

  • Gave her 1996 Olympic gold medal to her mother, Estelle, whom she cites as the biggest influence in her life.
  • July 24, 2004 was proclaimed Dawn Staley Day in Charlotte by Mayor Pat McCrory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.wnba.com/allstar/2011/top15_072311.html
  2. ^ "SECOND FIBA WOMEN'S U19/JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP -- 1989". USA Basketball. Retrieved 28 Dec 2013. 
  3. ^ "FIFTEENTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES -- 1991". USA Basketball. Retrieved 13 Oct 2013. 
  4. ^ "1992 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Twelvth [sic] Pan American Games -- 1995". USA Basketball. Retrieved 16 Oct 2013. 
  6. ^ "Thirteenth World Championship For Women -- 1998". USA Basketball. Retrieved 13 Oct 2013. 
  7. ^ "FOURTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN – 2002". USA Basketball. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "FIFTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 2006". USA Basketball. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Cliff Meidl
Flagbearer for  United States
Athens 2004
Succeeded by
Lopez Lomong
Preceded by
Shannon Higgins
ACC Female Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Mia Hamm