USC Women's Basketball

USC great Alaina Coates' father dies while driving

Gary Coates' SEC Championship Ring

Alaina Coates dedicated her last season to her father, Gary Coates Sr., and then gave him her 2014 SEC Championship ring as he was deployed overseas. Gary Coates Sr. died in a vehicle crash on March 13, 2018.
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Alaina Coates dedicated her last season to her father, Gary Coates Sr., and then gave him her 2014 SEC Championship ring as he was deployed overseas. Gary Coates Sr. died in a vehicle crash on March 13, 2018.

The father of former University of South Carolina women's basketball star Alaina Coates died while driving a vehicle Tuesday.

Gary Coates, 55, of Irmo, suffered from cardiac arrest while driving along Links Crossing Drive in Blythewood, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, who confirmed that he is the former Gamecock great's father.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. on March 13, according to Watts. Coates' vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy indicated that Coates suffered from a cardiac event that caused his death and there was no trauma from the vehicle incident. The death has been ruled from natural causes.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the crash.

Coates was associate pastor at Brookland-Baptist church and had a military background.

Alaina Coates was a part of the USC women's basketball program that won a national championship by prevailing in the NCAA Tournament last season.

She was selected by the Chicago Sky with the second overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, and is currently playing professionally in Europe.

Prior to attending USC, Coates was an All-American at Dutch Fork High School where she won multiple state championships.

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