Staley Could Bring National Appeal
Terry Don Phillips made the decision to relieve women's basketball head coach Jim Davis of his duties last Saturday after 18 years at the helm. If you are going to replace one of the most respected men in Clemson, and not to mention the winningest basketball coach in Clemson history, you need to make an outstanding hire. A prime candidate that would immediately draw attention would be current Temple head coach Dawn Staley.
Staley still thinks like a player despite the fact that she has been very successful as a head coach. The 2004 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, who initially had to be talked into the profession, has won 74 games in her first four seasons, captured Temple’s only two conference championships and earned three postseason bids. All of these accomplishments occurred while Staley maintained her highly publicized “summer job” as an All-Star player for the WNBA's Charlotte Sting. In the summer of 2004 she captured her third Olympic Gold Medal, playing for team USA in the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece and was selected as the United States flag bearer for the opening ceremonies.
Staley graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992. Staley was a three-time Kodak All-American while starring at the University of Virginia (1989-92). She helped UVA to a 110-21 record and four appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Three of those trips led to Final Four appearances in 1990, 1991 and 1992, and in 1991 the Cavaliers were the national runners-up. She holds the NCAA record for steals with 454 and was named the National Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992. In addition, she was the ACC Conference Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992 and the Rookie of the Year in 1989.
Staley once again led Temple to the NCAA tournament again in 2005. The Owls lost in the second round to Rutgers. Staley is also one of three women to ever win three consecutive gold medals (Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie).
An experienced would benefit from Staley's leadership. Staley's resume is as impressive as they come. Coach Davis can never be replaced in the eyes of true Clemson people, but Staley would give the program a little national appeal.