Skip to content
College Sports
Link copied to clipboard

Dawn Staley signs seven-year, $22.4 million extension with South Carolina, becoming second-highest paid coach in women’s college basketball

Dawn Staley is now the highest paid African-American coach in women's basketball in her new contract with South Carolina.

South Carolina has become one of the nation's best basketball programs under Dawn Staley.
South Carolina has become one of the nation's best basketball programs under Dawn Staley.Read moreSean Rayford / AP

Dawn Staley made her biggest statement yet as a pioneer for women’s basketball. The North Philly native agreed to a seven-year, $22.4 million contract extension to remain South Carolina women’s basketball head coach.

The deal makes Staley the second-highest paid coach in women’s basketball behind UConn’s Geno Auriemma. It also puts her right on par with Gamecocks men’s basketball coach Frank Martin. Staley could make a total of $2.9 million this season. Martin is scheduled to earn $3.2 million.

When Staley left Temple for South Carolina in 2008, that contract paid her $650,000 annually. In her new contract, Staley can almost earn that entire amount by winning the national championship game ($500,000).

“Contract negotiations are challenging, but this one was especially important as I knew it could be a benchmark, an example for other universities to invest in their women’s basketball programs, too,” Staley said in a statement. “Our game continues to grow and the time is ripe to make a big step forward, but only if universities foster that growth by committing resources that are equitable to those given to their men’s programs.”

» READ MORE: Dawn Staley balances her focus on basketball with her need to speak out on social justice and gender inequity

Staley was a high school All-American at Dobbins Tech, where she won three consecutive Public League titles. She won the Naismith award for the nation’s top player at Virginia in 1991-92 and made three consecutive Final Four appearances.

Those accomplishments as an amateur, plus five WNBA All-Star appearances and 10 gold medals as a player and coach are also on Staley’s resume.

But she became one of the highest paid coaches in women’s basketball by turning South Carolina into an elite women’s program. The Lady Gamecocks won their first NCAA title in program history under Staley in 2017.