The SC and Southern Ties of New Coach's Staff

New USC Women's Basketball Coach Dawn Staley is expected to bring most if not all of her staff from Temple University with her. It's a long way from Philadelphia to South Carolina, but her current staff has a number of ties to the Palmetto state in particular and to the South in general.

After new South Carolina head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley is formally introduced later today, she will get right to work, and is expected to bring her current staff with her. She has two staffers with South Carolina ties: Lisa Boyer, a former head coach from Converse College in Spartanburg, and Mary Wooley, who played for USC-Aiken, graduating from there in 2002. Boyer is Staley's top assistant coach and has been with her for six years. Wooley is Staley's director of basketball operations, and has been with Staley five years, the first three as a graduate assistant.

The rest of the staff may have to learn fast how to say ya'll and master all the other things that are unique to southern culture. Assistant Coach Fred Chmiel is an Alaska native who has spent a large part of his life on the west coast, and Head Trainer Paul Murata is a native of Toronto, Ontario.

Most of her staff has spent some time down south, and landing a coach with Staley's instant name credibility means South Carolina has a coach who can truly recruit nationally.

Womens College Basketball's "guru" Mel Greenberg is based out of Philadelphia where Temple is located. He confirmed that Boyer and "CJ" Cynthia Jordan will definitely be making the move to Columbia with Staley. Jordan was Staley's first recruit, and was Temple's highest profile women's basketball player. She played professionally in Switzerland before returning to Temple to serve as a graduate assistant this last season.

The biggest question mark is whether Chmiel will also come south with Staley. He recently got married, and that may affect his decision.

If Chmiel doesn't come, Greenberg says current South Carolina assistant Michelle Marciniak is an outside possibility to fill the final spot on the bench. She and Staley played on the Rage together under Boyer.

Boyer has spent a lot of time in this region. In addition to coaching at Converse one season in 82-83, she got a masters degree at UNC Greensboro, and was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech (1985-86), the University of Miami (1984-85), East Carolina University (1983-84) and Davidson College (1981-82). She is a native of Ogdensburg, New York, and played at Ithaca.

Jordan was raised in the south, coming to Temple from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia to play for Staley.

A major recruiting attraction for South Carolina's football recruits has been Steve Spurrier's history of putting players in the NFL, as well as the NFL coaching experience he and several of his staff have on their resumes.

Staley and her staff sent several of their players at Temple on to play professionally, and they have significant professional time on their own resumes as well. Staley, of course, was a star in first the ABL and then the WNBA.

Boyer spent two years as the head coach of the Philadelphia Rage in the ABL where her best player was Dawn Staley. She was also an assistant coach with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers where her duties also included working as an assistant with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chmiel, who has been on Staley's staff at Temple for the last two years, was previously an assistant coach with the WNBA's Charlotte Sting during the 2005 season, where one of his players was Staley. Upon the conclusion of the WNBA season, Chmiel signed on as the head coach of the National Women's Basketball League's San Jose Spiders. Prior to that, Chmiel spent 10 years coaching in Northern California, six at Lassen College, whom he led to three Golden Valley Conference titles in six years (1999-2005). Chmiel began his coaching career at Feather River (Junior) College, where he worked as an assistant for one season before holding the head coaching position from 1995-99.

Wooley was a four-year member of the Lady Pacers' basketball team at USC-Aiken. She captained the squad during her junior and senior seasons, leading the team to a Peach Belt Conference Championship, back to back Northern Division titles and the school's first ever NCAA Division II appearance. She had been planning to leave Staley's staff at Temple to pursue a doctoral degree at the end of the current semester, but the opportunity to come home to South Carolina could possibly be appealing.

Murata has been the primary athletic trainer for the Temple women's basketball program the last four seasons. He completed both his undergraduate and master's degrees at Temple.

Speculation of replacing a departing coach often focuses on a current assistant, but none of Staley's staff are expected to be candidates to replace her at Temple. Boyer has excelled as an assistant under Staley, but struggled as a head coach earlier in her career. She was the head coach at Bradley for 10 years from 1986-1996. During that span, she compiled an uninspiring record of 124-149, with three winning seasons and seven losing seasons. She spent two years as head coach in the pros. In her first year, the Rage went 21-19. In year two, the Rage finished in last place with a record of 13-31, and Boyer was fired.

Together, Staley and her staff are expected to bring immediate success to the South Carolina program, and all ya'll will be jes fine with that.

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