Catapulting South Carolina into the national spotlight, Dawn Staley has made the Gamecocks a mainstay in the battle for SEC and national championships. Under her leadership, the Gamecocks have reached many firsts—National Championship, NCAA Final Fours, No. 1 rankings, SEC regular-season and tournament titles, SEC Player of the Year, National Player of the Year, WNBA No. 1 Draft Pick and No. 1 recruiting classes—to name the most notable.
While her coaching career is in full bloom, Staley is still recognized for her body of work as a one of the most decorated participants in United States women’s basketball history. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame solidified that legacy with her enshrinement as part of the Class of 2013. The Phoenix Club of Philadelphia established the Dawn Staley Award recognizing the nation’s top guard in women’s Division I basketball in 2013 as well. Staley was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012 and was one of the final nominees for induction to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame the same year. In the summer of 2011, the WNBA recognized her as one of the league’s “Top 15,” honoring the most influential players in the league’s history.