Dawn Staley, UofSC officials address $22.4 million contract deal

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 1:40 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A press conference was held Friday night after The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved a new contract for women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley.

The contract change will make her the highest-paid African American head coach in her sport and one of the highest-paid women’s basketball coaches in the country.

The contract has a seven-year duration for $22.4 million, according to officials. The contract will last through the 2027-28 season.

Staley has been head coach of the Gamecocks Women’s Basketball Team since May of 2008. She is one of three programs to play in at least three of the last six NCAA Final Fours and won the 2017 NCAA Championship.

“Dawn Staley is one of the nation’s top coaches, regardless of the sport,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “She has built our women’s basketball program from the ground up, and her teams have produced champions, both on and off the floor.”

School officials announced that Staley’s salary will be $1 million per year with outside compensation starting with $1.9 million in the first year and escalating by $100,000 per year thereafter.

“It’s always been an honor to represent the University of South Carolina, and this contract represents the University’s commitment to supporting me and our women’s basketball program,” Staley said. “Contract negotiations are challenging, but this one was especially important as I knew it could be a benchmark, an example for other universities to invest in their women’s basketball programs, too.”

Staley was named National Coach of the Year in 2020 after leading the team to a Number 1 final ranking before the postseason was cut short by the pandemic, according to school officials.

In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Staley got the gold as coach of the Women’s National Team. She’s been named USA Basketball National Coach of the Year twice and helped the U.S. win 11 international gold medals, according to officials.

The Women’s Basketball season will kick off on November 1 with an exhibition game against Benedict College.

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