NBA teams should consider Dawn Staley for head coaching positions

by Marc Narducci | May 13, 2022
NBA teams should consider Dawn Staley for head coaching positions

Many NBA teams are already in their offseason and once again the coaching carousel is spinning. In this writing, there are two open NBA head coaching jobs. They are the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets.

There could be other changes as teams are eliminated from the playoffs.
Some teams will likely stay conservative and hire former head coaches. There could be a hot young assistant who is hired.

Going to the college ranks hasn’t been too successful in the NBA, but here is one suggestion. There is one college coach who deserves a shot – Dawn Staley.

Will Staley or any other woman ever get a fair shake at an open head coaching job?

That remains to be seen, but she is eminently qualified to take over an NBA team.

It was thought that if a woman would earn a job it would be Becky Hammon, who was a six-time WNBA All-Star in her 16-year playing career.

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She then became an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs, beginning in 2014. Working for five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich is like getting an advanced degree in coaching.

Hammon’s name was mentioned during previous years in the rumor mill, but she left San Antonio to become the coach this season of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.

Hammon could be a future NBA head coach and the qualifications are there, but it says here, that few people (men or women) are better candidates than Staley.

She has been a winner as a player and a coach. It’s difficult to tell which one she has enjoyed more success.

Staley, 52, is from Philadelphia and is proud of her roots. She was a star at Murrell Dobbins Tech and was named the high school player of the year as a senior. She starred at the University of Virginia, playing on three Final Four teams. 

Staley played professionally, most notably in the WNBA, where she was a six-time All-Star.

In addition, she won three Olympic gold medals as a player. Staley, at the urging of the late John Chaney, got into coaching, taking over Temple and turning the Owls into perennial NCAA tourney participant.

In eight seasons as head coach, Temple earned six NCAA tournament berths and one in the WNIT.

She then went to South Carolina and turned that into what today is the top program in the country.

She has guided South Carolina to two NCAA titles, this past season and in 2017. Many felt her 2019-20 team which was 32-1, would have won the national championship had the tournament not been canceled due to COVID.

In addition to the two NCAA titles, Staley has also guided South Carolina to the Final Four two other times.

She earned a gold medal last year as the head coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s team and has also been an assistant for two other gold medal squads.

More than her success, is that she brings that North Philly toughness. She is a coach who can mix toughness with compassion.

Staley is one coach who wouldn’t back down to even the biggest of NBA stars.

She has been a battler her entire life. Whether she would want to coach a men’s team remains to be seen. She has done so much to promote the women’s game, but Staley would be great for the NBA.

And don’t suggest she has to be an assistant first. Staley has the coaching experience to come in and win. Winning is all she has ever known.

She shouldn’t be hired as a novelty or a publicity stunt. If a team is serious about winning, Staley should be contacted.

One thing a team should do is offer her a long-term deal, seven years would be good – and get out of her way and let her coach and win.

It would be a home run, but getting somebody to step up to the plate is the difficult part.

Photo Credit: SEC Twitter 

Author: Marc Narducci


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