Dawn Staley’s contract extension: why $ 22.4 million deal is historic

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The University of South Carolina board of trustees has approved a landmark seven-year, $ 22.4 million contract for women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.

According to the school’s press release, Staley is now the highest paid black head coach in his sport and one of the highest paid women’s basketball coaches in the country. His salary is now the highest in the SEC, surpassing Kim Mulkey of LSU, who is expected to earn $ 2.5 million in his first year, according to the Associated press.

South Carolina announced that Staley’s base salary will be “$ 1 million per year with outside pay starting at $ 1.9 million in the first year and increasing by $ 100,000 per year thereafter.” Head coach pay for 2021-2022 “starts at $ 2.9 million, with the latest year reaching $ 3.5 million,” according to the school.

“I didn’t do it for myself,” Staley said, according to USA Today. “I’m an advocate for equal pay and overall that’s a huge statement for women and for black women – and not just in sport but across the country – when you think about how much less they are paid by dollar against Men. “

Since taking over the program, the Gamecocks have reached the NCAA tournament nine times, including three of the last six NCAA Final Fours (2015, 2017, 2021), and have won the 2017 NCAA Championship. program spent 25 weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP poll during his tenure.

“Dawn Staley is one of the best coaches in the country, regardless of the sport,” South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. “She built our women’s basketball program from the ground up, and her teams produced champions, both on and off the court.”

During the offseason, Staley led Team USA’s women’s basketball to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Contract negotiations are tough, but this one was especially important because I knew it could be a benchmark, an example for other universities to invest in their women’s basketball programs as well,” Staley said in a statement. communicated. now is the time to take a big step forward, but only if universities foster this growth by committing resources that are equitable to those allocated to their men’s programs. ”

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