Staley Receives Winged Foot Award|
NEW YORK – South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley received the Winged Foot Award from the New York Athletic Club in a ceremony Tuesday night. Annually presented to the head coaches of the men’s and women’s basketball national champions, the Winged Foot Award banquet held at the Club featured Master of Ceremonies Billy Packer.
The Gamecocks claimed their first women’s basketball national championship with a strong six-game run through the NCAA Tournament, culminating in the 67-55 win over SEC-rival Mississippi State in the title game. South Carolina won its NCAA Tournament games by an average of 20.5 points while shooting 50.1 percent from the field to average 76.8 points. All five starters ¬– juniors A’ja Wilson, Allisha Gray, Kaela Davis and Bianca Cuevas-Moore and freshman Tyasha Harris – averaged over 6.5 points per game at the event as the Gamecocks won two games in Columbia, two in Stockton, Calif., and two in Dallas en route to the championship.
Staley became just the second African-American woman to lead her team to an NCAA women’s basketball title, joining Carolyn Peck with the honor. In her ninth season in Columbia, she has led the Gamecocks to a 221-80 record that includes six NCAA Tournament appearances, highlighted by five Sweet 16s and two Final Fours. South Carolina is the four-time reigning SEC regular-season champion and has won the last three SEC Tournament titles as well. Four Gamecocks have collected 11 All-America selections, and Staley’s team has produced the last four SEC Players of the Year and two SEC Defensive Player of the Year selections. In the last three seasons, five Gamecocks have been taken in the WNBA Draft, including four selections among the top 10 over the last two editions of the draft.
The Winged Foot Award was established in 1996 to recognize the men’s basketball national champion, and the first women’s award was presented in 1999 to Peck.