COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s Dawn Staley is now one of the highest-paid coaches in women’s college basketball.
USC’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a $125,000 raise for Staley, whose guaranteed pay next season will be $850,000. The board also extended her contract three years through the 2018-19 season. Under the new terms of her contract, Staley will receive an annual $25,000 raise, so her guaranteed pay in the deal’s final year will be $975,000.
Ohio State was interested in Staley for its coaching vacancy after this past season. She removed her name from consideration. Staley just completed her fifth season at USC and brought the Gamecocks to the NCAA tournament’s second round, after a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011-12. That was USC’s first NCAA trip since 2002-03.
After 2002-03, in coach Susan Walvius’ final five years, USC went 69-82 and 20-50 in the Southeastern Conference. In Staley’s first three years, USC was 42-48 (17-29). The past two seasons, USC is 50-18 (21-11). Staley got a $50,000 raise after last season.
The only SEC coaches who will earn more than Staley’s $850,000 next season are Kentucky’s Matthew Mitchell and Texas A&M’s Gary Blair, who are reportedly at $950,000 and $860,000.
Staley almost certainly now ranks among the top 15 highest-paid coaches in the country, but probably not higher than ninth. Determining exactly where she ranks is difficult because private schools Stanford, Notre Dame and Duke, who all have prominent women’s basketball programs, do not release salary data.