Dawn Staley says she’s ‘done’ as U.S. women’s basketball head coach

3:23 p.m. ET

  • Mechelle VoepelESPN.com

    Shut down

      Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, womens college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began reporting on women’s basketball in 1984 and has been with ESPN since 1996.

On request before the Olympia Dawn Staley jokingly said that she had to win Tokyo before she even thought about it.

After Team USA secured the Olympic gold medal for the seventh time in a row, Staley had an answer on Sunday: “I’m done.”

Staley smiled when she said it in the American press conference after the game and was asked by US Guard Diana Taurasi, “Does that feel good, Dawn?”

Guard Sue Bird, who won a fifth Olympic gold medal like Taurasi, also confirmed that this will be her last Olympic Games, but she had said so before her trip to Tokyo. Taurasi, on the other hand, said: “See you in Paris” – the venue for the 2024 Olympics – although it was unclear whether she was joking or not.

Anyway, Staley said she enjoyed her time but did whatever there was to be done. She said the purity and innocence of “simple play” was what she loved most about the national team.

“It does this like no other team you will be on,” said Staley. “It’s exactly what I try to coach my college team [to have.]”

Staley’s association with U.S. basketball dates back more than three decades, playing for the organization while college in Virginia, then fielding the senior team for the 1994 FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup, and winning the first of three Olympic gold medals in 1996.

Staley was an assistant coach at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2016. She was named head coach of the national team in March 2017, and a few weeks later she won her first NCAA championship as a South Carolina coach.

Since then, it has been a balancing act between her college program, which also made it into the Final Four last season, and her tasks in the USA. Staley led the Americans to FIBA ​​Women’s World Cup gold in 2018 and experienced this championship and Olympic triumph with former Gamecocks star A’ja Wilson.

With this victory in Tokyo, Staley joins the late Anne Donovan, who won Olympic gold in 5v5 basketball as both a player and head coach. Donovan won gold as a player in 1984 and ’88 and was then head coach in 2008. The late Pat Summitt won a silver medal as a player in 1976 and led the US team to gold in 1984.

It’s not uncommon for Staley not to stay for a second Olympic cycle; only UConn coach Geno Auriemma has coached the US women’s national team at two Olympic Games (2012, 2016).

The Americans now have a streak of 55 straight Olympic victories, and Staley paid tribute to Taurasi and Bird for their contribution to the sequel.

“The start of this win came before them, but they finished it,” she said. “They’ve taken it to a new level. They put the next coach and players under so much pressure that they play at a high level.”

Staley’s departure means there will be an entirely new leadership for the U.S. women’s basketball program at the next major competition, the 2022 World Cup. National Team Director Carol Callan, who has led the program since 1995, announced her resignation in July, although she will remain President of FIBA ​​Americas.

Source link


Read Previous

The Tokyo Olympics’ Indelible Moments of Loss and Solidarity

Read Next

Anti-Semitism Isn’t Merely Another Kind of Hate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *