The best season in program history didn’t go unnoticed.
Dawn Staley is expected to receive a contract extension during a South Carolina Board of Trustees meeting on Friday morning, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The State. Staley finished her seventh season, each of which was a significant improvement over the preceding season, with a school-record 34 wins and the program’s first NCAA Final Four appearance.
A BOT meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Friday with an “athletic employment contract” on the agenda. There is an item labeled “arena naming rights agreement” listed as well.
The source didn’t have specific numbers for Staley’s new deal but confirmed it will be an extension. Her previous deal, amended after the 2012-13 season, was through the 2018-19 season and paid her $850,000 in 2013-14, with $25,000 escalators after each season. She was set to make $975,000 in the final year of the contract.
Staley has improved her SEC win total in each of her seasons, and outside of two years where she won 25 games each, also improved her overall win total in each season. The Gamecocks have won back-to-back regular-season SEC championships (where they went a combined 29-3 in the league), won their first SEC tournament in 2015 and reached the Final Four.
Staley has won consecutive SEC Coach of the Year prizes and guided her team to a No. 1 ranking in 2015, a spot it held for 12 weeks. The Gamecocks led the country in average attendance and Staley hasn’t rested on the recruiting trail, landing the services of ACC leading rebounder Sarah Imovbioh for 2015-16 and Georgia Tech transfer Kaela Davis for two seasons after 2015-16. Davis, the No. 2 prospect in the country out of high school, would have been the ACC’s leading returning scorer had she returned to Tech.
Staley will coach the U.S. under-19 team at the FIBA World Championships in July (where one of her players is USC’s A’ja Wilson, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year). She is also a U.S. assistant coach for the 2016 Olympics.