For the women’s basketball team, it’s the end of an era.
Coach Dawn Staley, who just finished her eighth year with the Owls, has accepted the head coaching job at South Carolina.
The deal is still pending the approval of the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees, as that group will meet Saturday morning with a press conference tentatively scheduled for noon to officially announce the hiring.
During her time on North Broad Street, Staley made the Owls relevant and gave them a true leader and voice. She led the team to six NCAA Tournament appearances, four Atlantic Ten Conference Tournament titles and the program’s first national ranking.
Temple Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw, in a brief statement released on the official Temple athletics Web site, Owlsports.com, talked about Staley’s accomplishments with the Owls.
“Dawn Staley has had a strong record at Temple University: A win-loss record of 172-80, six NCAA appearances and four A-10 titles,” he said. “We wish her the best at South Carolina.”
Staley is no stranger to the general Carolina area, as she starred for four years at Virginia after graduating from Dobbins Tech in Philadelphia. She also played for the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting for six seasons, being named to the all-star team twice.
She leaves behind a team that will have just two seniors — forwards Shenita Landry and Shanea Cotton. Combine that with departing senior starters, center Lady Comfort and guard Ashley Morris, and Staley would have had a young, inexperienced team on her hands.
There has been no word on any replacements for Staley, though assistant coach Lisa Boyer, who was the coach at Baylor for 10 years and also coached Staley while she played in the now-defunct American Basketball League, could possibly be in the running.
A press conference to formally send-off Staley is expected, though it’s likely that it will not take place until after she is officially introduced at South Carolina Saturday.
Todd Orodenker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Rotator photo courtesy of www.daylife.com. Story photo courtesy of www.temple.edu.)