Dawn Staley, who made history as the first female Black head coach for South Carolina Gamecocks Women’s Basketball
She is officially the highest-paid Black women’s collegiate basketball coach after agreeing to a $22.4 million, 7-year deal.
According to the terms of the agreement, Staley will get an annual base pay of $1 million along with outside compensation that will begin at $1.9 million in the first year and go up by $100,000 each year following that.
Along with renowned University of Connecticut Huskies coach Geno Auriemma, she is currently among the highest-paid women’s basketball coaches in the nation.
Staley hopes that this “recognition” will encourage basketball teams to invest in women’s basketball in the same way that they do with its male counterpart.
“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 in a statement, according to ESPN.
“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.”
Since 2008, Staley has been serving as Gamecocks’ head coach. For 13 years, she has led the team to the NCAA Final Four in 2015, 2017, and 2021, winning one NCAA National Championship in 2017.
Last year, Staley was named the National Coach of the Year, and the Gamecocks were also ranked Top 1 before the playoffs were canceled due to the pandemic.
In addition, Staley led the U.S. Women’s National team to victory at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics while serving as their head coach from 2017 to 2021.
Regardless of the sport, Dawn Staley is one of the best coaches in the country, according to South Carolina’s athletic director Ray Tanner.
She started from scratch to create our women’s basketball program, and her teams have produced champions.