Coach Dawn Staley earns Billie Jean King Leadership award


NEW YORK (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley’s busy offseason after successful a second NCAA basketball title has included savoring the victory, lining up team-wide NIL offers and supporting coaches of colour.

Nearly 80 Black coaches have obtained items of the successful nets from Staley since April, and he or she plans at hand out extra to Black sports activities journalists sooner or later.

On Wednesday evening, she’ll be on the receiving finish of different accolades. Staley will settle for the Billie Jean King Leadership Award on the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute to Women in Sports.

She just lately guided the U.S. girls’s basketball workforce to its seventh straight gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics. A 5-foot-6 flooring normal at Virginia and six-time WNBA All-Star, Staley received three Olympic golds throughout her enjoying profession.

The Philadelphia native circled struggling applications at Temple and South Carolina, and the latter now boasts a few of the highest attendance within the nation. She watched her former South Carolina star A’ja Wilson win the WNBA title with the Las Vegas Aces and earn MVP honors final month.

Now among the many highest-paid coaches in girls’s basketball, the 52-year-old Staley enters her fifteenth season on the helm.

The Naismith Hall of Famer talked to The Associated Press about function fashions, supporting the group and her 5-year-old Havanese canine named “Champ.” Comments have been edited for brevity.


AP: Why was it necessary at hand out items of the NCAA title web to coaches of colour?

STALEY: It began with (1999 NCAA-winning Purdue coach) Carolyn Peck giving me her piece of the online a number of years forward of our 2017 nationwide championship. Someone had finished that for her, and he or she wished to pay it ahead. When we received in 2017, I wished to maintain that custom alive. I knew what that tangible piece of the online did for me — gave me a relentless reminder of what we have been working towards, saved me targeted. We tried to get everybody, however we undoubtedly received notes from these we missed, and received items out to them, too.

AP: What motivates you to acknowledge Black sports activities journalists with a bit of the online?

STALEY: It’s the identical because the motivation for Black head coaches. I do know what it’s like to maneuver in an area that’s not at all times constructed for you or understands your particular path or battle. So, I would like these journalists who’re so necessary to giving a voice to the athletes and applications they cowl to have that tangible reminder that no matter aim they’re working towards will be achieved in the event that they maintain targeted on it.

AP: You’ve advocated for extra coaches of colour. How would you assess the present state of affairs?

STALEY: It’s turn into extra common to rent a Black coach. But it’s a cycle — it’s at a spot the place it was possibly 10 years in the past. The numbers are trending up however not practically the place it must be with having so many student-athletes which can be Black. I’m not condemning anyone else, but when there are a sure variety of Black student-athletes you’re teaching, I believe they should see somebody who represents them.

AP: Female coaches for girls’s sports activities was the norm within the Seventies, at about 90%, earlier than the NCAA took over governance of girls’s sports activities within the Nineteen Eighties. Now it’s solely about 41%. Who does the hiring could make a distinction?

STALEY: Absolutely. Let me simply say no fault of any male AD since you rent who you recognize. The extra folks you recognize and the extra various folks you recognize, the extra apt you’ll be told sufficient to rent somebody.

AP: What makes the South Carolina girls’s basketball program so robust?

STALEY: Longevity. I’ve had two ADs, three presidents and just about the senior employees has been similar to the previous few years. It helps when you’ve continuity inside your athletic division, folks know who you might be and what you stand for and helps transfer the chain just a little bit.

AP: Studies recommend range makes universities and firms stronger, providing a wide range of voices and skills. Have you skilled that in your profession — sluggish progress towards a extra various desk?

STALEY: No. I imply, it’s what it’s. It’s not going to alter till we’re intentional. But we’re not there but. When there’s one or two people who find themselves on the senior employees that’s various and you recognize there are eight different less-diverse folks which can be on senior employees, you’re 20% of the room. You’re simply giving an opinion. Nothing goes to alter.

AP: Along with particular person contracts for identify, picture and likeness (NIL), there are team-wide offers at South Carolina so all gamers get NIL {dollars}?

STALEY: We’ve been having some fairly good success partnering with individuals who really feel all-team offers are an ideal factor. We simply signed a deal giving all our gamers a minimal of $25,000. We partnered with an organization referred to as Rewind that has given our gamers fairness in possession. It’s a startup firm (involved with) diabetes as a result of diabetes may be very prevalent in South Carolina. Our gamers will carry consciousness to Type 2 diabetes, so there shall be generational well being in folks of our group.

AP: How’s Champ? Still stealing the present?

STALEY: It’s his fifth birthday. Champ is a giver. So, we’ll in all probability companion with a pet orphanage right here in Columbia. Bring consciousness to that. Go undertake a pet.


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