Dawn Staley is new South Carolina Coach

South Carolina Athletic Director Eric Hyman has made a dramatic hire for his new women's basketball coach - Dawn Staley. Staley is one of the highest profile coaches in America in women's collegiate basketball.

Staley is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA All-Star, and has been the head coach of the Temple Owls since April, 2000. She took over a program that had not experienced a winning record in almost a decade and immediately became successful, leading the Owls to a 19-11 record and a first-round appearance in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Staley went on this past season to become the all-time Temple women's basketball coach with career wins at 172-80.

In her eight seasons at Temple, Staley produced six NCAA appearances, four Atlantic Ten titles, five Big Five crowns, including the last four straight.

Additionally, Candice Dupree became a WNBA first-round draft pick in 2006, followed the next season by Kamesha Hairston, who was selected by the Connecticut Sun.

Staley has been known for scheduling a strong nonconference schedule, taking on some of the nation's elite programs, such as Rutgers, Tennessee, Maryland, Georgia, LSU, and North Carolina State, to name a few. Temple's strong schedule was a major factor in Temple landing an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, the second straight at-large invite under Staley.

Hyman has now made two consecutive hires of young energetic basketball coaches, with Staley's hiring coming only five weeks after the hiring of new South Carolina men's coach Darrin Horn. Staley just turned 38 this week, Horn is 35. Staley is also the highest profile African-American coach in USC history. USC Track and Field Coach Curtis Frye is the only other African-American head coach at USC.

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