Staley staying at USC, withdraws name from Ohio State search

GoGamecocks staff reportsMarch 31, 2013 

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley

TIM DOMINICK — tdominick@thestate.com

South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley announced Sunday night that she has withdrawn her name from consideration for the coaching opening at Ohio State.

South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner confirmed late Friday that he had been contacted by the Buckeyes, but further meetings over the weekend resulted in Staley deciding not to pursue the position.

“While it’s flattering to be contacted by other programs, staying at South Carolina was not a difficult decision,” Staley said in a statement from the university. “With what we’re building here and the outpouring of support I’ve received from the administration, fans and community leaders, it was an easy choice. I want to stay here and finish what we have started.”

Staley just completed her 12th season as a head coach with a 264-146 career record, which includes a 92-66 mark in her five seasons at South Carolina. The Gamecocks made back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament with consecutive 20-win seasons.

This season’s 25-8 mark is the fourth-highest winning percentage in program history, and the 25 wins ties for the most in the SEC era. Steadily improving her program following a challenging first season, Staley’s 82 wins in the last four seasons are the most four-year total since the period ending 1991-92, when the Gamecocks joined the SEC.

In five seasons at South Carolina, Staley has also made a significant impact on in-state recruiting, landing the state’s player of the year each of the last three seasons – Aleighsa Welch (2011), Asia Dozier (2012) and 2013 signee Alaina Coates.

“We are extremely excited that Coach Staley has withdrawn her name from consideration for another coaching position,” Tanner said. “We all know that she is one of the top coaches in the country and are not surprised that other schools are interested in her. We are delighted that she has decided to stay here to continue what she has started in making us both an SEC and national contender. I will be recommending to University President Harris Pastides and our Board of Trustees amendments to Coach Staley’s contract, including an extension, to recognize her great work and commitment to the university.”

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