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Women's Basketball

Dawn Staley Joins Gamecock Women's Basketball

May 10, 2008

Press Conference

Athletics Director Eric Hyman
"One of the greatest predictors of future success is demonstrated past success. If you go back and listen to some of the things being said about her [Dawn Staley], it is absolutely remarkable."

"When we were researching Dawn, I talked to one of her coaching counterparts in the Atlantic 10, and he prayed that we hired her. He said for the benefit of his coaching career, we needed to hire her out of that conference."

"To me, one of the greatest accomplishments (you can achieve) is to carry the American flag at the Olympic Games. Dawn Staley did that at the 2004 Olympics in Athens."

"She is going to be a wonderful role model for young women not only at the University of South Carolina, not only just Columbia but for the whole state of South Carolina."

"I couldn't be more excited to have a person like Dawn Staley. I ask you, if you were a [student-athlete], why would you not want to come play for Dawn at the University of South Carolina in the SEC?"

Women's Basketball Head Coach Dawn Staley
"I'm truly honored to stand here as the new women's basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. I have to thank Dr. Sorensen, Herbert Adams and the Board of Trustees for bringing me in."

"Anytime you have someone committed to something, more often than not you're going to be successful at it."

"We're going to work extremely hard at everything we do. We're going to work at turning this program around. I know Eric Hyman said it's going to take some time. I'm patient, but I'm not that patient."

"Personally, I have a lot of family members supporting me today. This is the birth state of my mother (Seneca, S.C.). Secondly, professionally I want to coach against some of the best coaches in the country, and this is one of the best conferences in the country."

"It's fulfilling to affect the lives of young people on a daily basis. Most importantly is doing it the right way. Doing things the right way is sometimes uncomfortable and hard, but I think putting in hard work is more gratifying when you're successful."

"My vision is to bring national prominence to South Carolina. It's a bold move, but challenges are things that drive me."

"We want you to embrace our basketball team in a way like no other. I met five of our players today, and they're eager to get started. The University of South Carolina women's basketball team is going to be synonymous with working hard and doing things the right way."

"Some people say, `Why USC?' I say why not? They have the commitment, facilities and coaches; it's a great time to be part of the movement at USC. I'm so happy because this is the first time I can speak on it now that everything has been approved."

On leaving Philadelphia
"It was a very difficult decision but sometimes things happen. I think professionally I like to be challenged just to reassure myself as a coach. I thank Temple University for giving me the opportunity to hone my skills as a coach. This opportunity fits me."

On coaching against Pat Summtit at Tennessee
"Coach Summitt was basically the only coach of a top team to play us [Temple] even though she had nothing to gain from it. It almost shot her in the foot though because we went down to Knoxville and almost pulled it out. She is someone you want to measure yourself against. Having her on the schedule every year will only make you a better coach. She has a model program."

On her style of play
"I like to get up and down and play. I like to press. I have to evaluate our team. We're going to play to our strengths, but we will play hard. You'll see us exert and exhaust ourselves."

On being the first female African-American head coach at the University
"I look at myself as an odds beater. The color of my skin is black but my outlook on life is people. It's a wonderful thing that the University of South Carolina (hired me)."

"The team is going to be asked to do certain things in the community and they'll be asked to do things academically. One thing I tell them is your body is an amazing thing so let it be amazing."

Jordan Jones on how the players' meeting went with Coach Staley
"At first there was that wow factor. She's a superstar, but she is really a down-to-earth person, real genuine. She's all into working hard, so if we work hard there isn't going to be any problem. She's had success everywhere she's been - at Virginia, the Olympics and hopefully that will carry over into here."

Demetress Adams on Coach Staley's emphasis on hard work
"That's been on the top of my priority list since I've been playing basketball, but especially at the college level. You can ask any of my teammates, one of the things I'm into is the gym, I'm always thinking about getting better and showing something different to my opponents the next year. So Coach Staley speaks on everything I look forward to. The level she is going to bring to us is going to be different because I may not have been exposed to it so much, but I'm ready to accept that challenge. With the hard working aspect, she is speaking for everything that I stand for.

Brionna Dickerson on what she liked most about Dawn Staley as a player and how that might translate to her coaching
"It was her energy, her energy on and off the court. I would drive up to Charlotte with one of our trainers from high school and go to her games all the time. We'd sit courtside and try to get her to wave. She was very personable and a good person. She's willing to reach out to anyone, and I think that's the greatest thing about her. I think WE will develop a great relationship with her, and it will be something that will definitely last for a long time."



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