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South Carolina’s Dawn Staley: ‘I don’t want to coach in the men’s game’

Dawn Staley doesn't plan to leave her South Carolina dynasty for a men's coaching gig. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Dawn Staley isn’t leaving South Carolina women’s basketball for the men’s game any time soon.

A few may have floated the idea of her leaving for the men’s head coaching position at Temple before the school hired Penn State associate head coach Adam Fisher. And while the chatter wasn’t very loud, it still caught the attention of some – enough so that Staley was asked about it Thursday as her team prepared for the Final Four.

“No thoughts. I don’t want to coach in the men’s game,” Staley said when asked if she had given the job any thought. She ended with a joke about Philadelphia’s weather: “It’s cold up there, too.”

CBS Sports analyst Seth Davis was the first to float the idea of Staley as a top-tier candidate for the Owls. After all, she is a native of Philadelphia and a “proven winner.” While some thought it a good idea, others said the men’s gig “would be a step down” for the two-time national championship coach.

Even musician Darius Rucker, a South Carolina alum, chimed in.

“U really think @dawnstaley wants to leave the Dynasty that she has built at @GamecockWBB. Wow. Awful take there,” Rucker tweeted.

But it’s not the first time Staley has been mentioned as a candidate for a men’s basketball job. Back in 2021, she was linked to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.

“I’ve talked to the Portland Trail Blazers, and that’s the extent of it,” Staley said during a Zoom call with reporters in 2021. “I’ve talked to them.”

Staley isn’t the only women’s basketball coach to field questions about coaching in the men’s game. Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon was long tossed around as an option for NBA head coaching positions after spending a significant amount of time as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

“I don’t need so-and-so to tell me I’m a good coach,” Hammon said about her switch to the WNBA. “I don’t need somebody’s stamp of approval.”