For the third consecutive year, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has been tabbed a finalist for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Wednesday.
Staley joins UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw and Oregon State’s Scott Rueck on the list of finalists. The winner will be revealed during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis on April 4.
South Carolina produced another record-breaking season under Staley, notching a program-best 13 wins over ranked opponents. The Gamecocks, who won at least 30 games for the second season in a row, were dominant in SEC play this year, becoming just the second school to post a 16-0 record in league play in SEC history.
The three-time SEC Coach of the Year has led the Gamecocks to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last five seasons, and South Carolina reached the NCAA Final Four for the first time in program history last year.
The Gamecocks (31-1) received the No. 1 seed in the Sioux Falls Region and will open NCAA Tournament play against 16th-seeded Jacksonville on Friday at Colonial Life Arena.