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Dawn Staley, South Carolina Ink 7-Year, $22.4M Contract; Joint-Highest-Paid WCBB HC

Erin WalshOctober 15, 2021

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley continues to make history. 

The 51-year-old inked a seven-year, $22.4 million contract with the Gamecocks on Friday, making her the highest-paid Black coach in women's basketball, according to USA Today's Lindsay Schnell

"Credit where it's due," Staley said. "This university and this state have a rich history of racism, and I'm not going to disregard that. But this is one of the most progressive decisions they've ever made. They need to be recognized for being committed to leading the way in gender equity in America. This is an equitable statement and in the midst of all our inequities in our country, I hope it's a turning point."

Staley last got a raise and extension in 2017. Her new salary will be $1 million per year, with outside compensation beginning at $1.9 million in the first year and escalating by $100,000 every year after.

Since Staley became coach in 2008, the Gamecocks have made the NCAA tournament nine times, including three of the past six NCAA Final Fours. They won the NCAA championship in 2017.

Staley was named National Coach of the Year in 2020 after leading the Gamecocks to a No. 1 ranking before the postseason was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Staley also coached the United States' women's basketball team to a gold medal at this summer's Tokyo Olympics. She has been named USA Basketball National Coach of the Year twice and has helped the U.S. win 11 international gold medals.

Staley joins UConn's Geno Auriemma as the highest-paid coaches in women's basketball. Auriemma makes around $2.8 million per year. About 12 women's college basketball coaches make at least $1 million per year or more, including Arizona's Adia Barnes, LSU's Kim Mulkey and Oregon's Kelly Graves.  

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