South Carolina's Staley is USBWA National Coach of the Year for a third straight season

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – For the fourth time in her career and for the third straight season, South Carolina's Dawn Staley has been named the Women's National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Staley will be honored, along with the Ann Meyers Drysdale (National Player of the Year) and Tamika Catchings (National Freshman Player of the Year) award winners at the USBWA's annual awards banquet hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on April 17. In addition, the corresponding men's award winners (Oscar Robertson Trophy, Wayman Tisdale Award and Henry Iba Award) will be honored at the event.

After losing all five starters off a Final Four team a year ago, Staley's Gamecocks didn't skip a beat with an unbeaten regular season (32-0) as they enter the 2024 NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for a third straight year. They open their national championship pursuit on Friday against either Presbyterian or Sacred Heart at home in Columbia. 

The team marched through the SEC and the conference tournament, spurred most recently with a dramatic buzzer-beating win over Tennessee in the SEC Tournament semifinals to remain perfect and enter the NCAA Tournament unbeaten once again.

Staley's fourth coaching honor from the USBWA – all in a span of five seasons – is the second-most behind Geno Auriemma, who has won the award six times. Muffet McGraw and Kim Mulkey are three-time winners of the award.

“Having seen Dawn through most of her basketball career, the amazing thing is once she dropped her reluctance to coaching and accepted the Temple job is how fast the Owls turned around in her native Philadelphia," said Mel Greenberg, the USBWA Vice President for Women. "Perhaps more remarkably, though, is how quickly South Carolina under Staley has rocketed into a powerhouse program at supersonic speed."

South Carolina's balanced attack led by 6-7 center Kamilla Cardoso features seven players averaging at least 8.1 points per game. Cardoso, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, averages 14.0 points per game on a team that is fourth in the nation averaging 86.1 points per game. South Carolina also holds its opponents to 32 percent shooting from the field, the best mark in the country.

Staley, a two-time first-team USBWA All-American player at Virginia, is in her 24th season as a head coach and her 16th at South Carolina. Her career record stands at 606-186 (.765). Staley has won two national titles (2017, 2022) in five trips to the Final Four. The 32 wins this season give her six 30-win seasons with a chance to break the South Carolina school single-season record of 36, set just a year ago.

The USBWA has named a women's national coach of the year since the 1989-90 season. Stanford's Tara VanDerveer, who become Division I basketball's winningest coach earlier this season, was the first recipient. Staley is looking to become just the sixth winner to do it in an unbeaten season. Auriemma is the last to do it when his UConn Huskies went 38-0 in the 2015-16 season.

The USBWA was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 800 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at


2023-24: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
2022-23: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
2021-22: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
2020-21: Tara VanDerveer, Stanford
2019-20: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
2018-19: Kim Mulkey, Baylor
2017-18: Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State
2016-17: Geno Auriemma, UConn
2015-16: Geno Auriemma, UConn
2014-15: Courtney Banghart, Princeton
2013-14: Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2012-13: Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2011-12: Kim Mulkey, Baylor
2010-11: Kim Mulkey, Baylor
2009-10: Connie Yori, Nebraska
2008-09: Geno Auriemma, UConn
2007-08: Geno Auriemma, UConn
2006-07: Gail Goestenkors, Duke
2005-06: Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina
2004-05: Pokey Chatman, LSU
2003-04: Joe Curl, Houston
2002-03: Geno Auriemma, UConn
2001-02: Brenda Oldfield (Frese), Minnesota
2000-01: Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
1999-00: Andy Landers, Georgia
1998-99: Carolyn Peck, Purdue
1997-98: Pat Summitt, Tennessee
1996-97: Wendy Lary, Old Dominion
1995-96: Leon Barmore, Louisiana Tech
1994-95: Geno Auriemma, UConn
1993-94: Ceal Barry, Colorado
1992-93: Jim Foster, Vanderbilt
1991-92: Christine Weller, Maryland
1990-91: Debbie Ryan, Virginia
1989-90: Tara VanDerveer, Stanford