South Carolina’s Dawn Staley earns second AP Coach of the Year award

Dawn Staley Excellent job leading a young South Carolina team back to competition semifinals Undefeated record for second consecutive season.

On Thursday, Staley was named the Associated Press Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year for the second time.She received 27 votes from the 35-member national media panel that conducted the vote AP Top 25 weekly. She also won an award in 2020.

Staley joins an elite coaching staff that includes Gino Auriemma (9), Muffet McGraw (Four), Kim Mulkey (3) and Brenda Freese (2) Those who have won the AP Award multiple times since it was first awarded in 1995.

Lindsay Gottlieb Southern California, Felissa Leggett-Jack Syracuse and Scott Rucker Oregon State tied for second with two votes apiece. Voting is done ahead of the NCAA tournament.

South Carolina, which will face North Carolina State in the national semifinals on Friday night, is the favorite to win its second title in three years and third overall since 2017. cockfighting They are two wins away from completing their 10th undefeated season in NCAA Division I history.

Staley has rebuilt the program into a powerhouse since arriving in 2008, and last year’s team was on pace to win another championship until Iowa eliminated the Gamecocks in the Final Four. Staley had to replace his entire starting lineup this season but still led them back to the semifinals for the fourth straight year.

She built a fan base that led the nation in attendance over the past 10 years, and the school announced a new seven-year contract in 2021 that will pay her $2.9 million this season and her final season in 2027-28 increased to $3.5 million.She said the $22.4 million deal should have an impact and could lead to Fairness of men’s and women’s competitions.

Along the way, Staley has become A voice of leadership and direction in the women’s game. The former point guard — already the first black coach to win two NCAA championships — has successfully given Staley a platform to address issues off the court. She went on to talk about gender equality, diversity and opportunities for women.

Staley is also an outspoken supporter of her players and athletes. A year ago, she was asked about her team when others suggested her players were bullies.

“That’s a good question,” she responded, “We’re not bar fighters. We’re not thugs. We’re not monkeys. We’re not street fighters.”

“If you really get to know them, if you really get to know them, like you really want to get to know the other players that represent this game, you’re going to think differently,” she added. “So don’t judge us by the color of our skin. Judge us by how we approach the game.”

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