The USC Board of Trustees Friday approved a new seven year, 22.4-million-dollar contract for women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley. According to the University, the new contract will make Staley “the highest paid African-American head coach in her sport and one of the highest paid women’s basketball coaches in the country.” Staley has been coach of the Gamecocks for 13 seasons. The new contract runs thru the end of the 2027-28 season.
With base salary and outside compensation, Staley will earn $2.9 million dollars for this coming season, with the final season pushing her compensation to $3.5 million dollars. The contract includes additional performance compensation opportunities up to $680,000 per year.
“Dawn Staley is one of the nation’s top coaches, regardless of the sport,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner in a release. “She has built our women’s basketball program from the ground up, and her teams have produced champions, both on and off the floor. The ability to keep Coach Staley at the University of South Carolina is great news for all Gamecocks. I join with our fans in looking forward to seeing the great achievements her program will continue to produce in the future.”
Under Staley, the Gamecocks have been built into one of the powers in women’s college basketball. They won the national championship in 2017 and have been to three of the last six Final Fours. The Gamecocks have been ranked in the top 25 at the end of each of the last ten seasons, and seven times in the top 10. Staley was named national coach of the year in 2020 when there was no NCAA Tournament, but her team was #1 in the polls at the end of the season.
“It’s always been an honor to represent the University of South Carolina, and this contract represents the University’s commitment to supporting me and our women’s basketball program,” Staley said in a statement. “Contract negotiations are challenging, but this one was especially important as I knew it could be a benchmark, an example for other universities to invest in their women’s basketball programs, too. Our game continues to grow, and the time is ripe to make a big step forward, but only if universities foster that growth by committing resources that are equitable to those given to their men’s programs. I thank Dr. Pastides, Coach Tanner and the Board of Trustees for providing that example today. And, lastly, I would be remiss to not also thank Butch Bowers, Angela O’Neal and our FAMS for their commitment and support.”
Contract Year Base Salary Outside Compensation (Guaranteed) Total
10/01/21 – 04/15/22^ $1,000,000* $1,900,000* $2,900,000*
04/16/22 – 04/15/23 $1,000,000 $2,000,000 $3,000,000
04/16/23 – 04/15/24 $1,000,000 $2,100,000 $3,100,000
04/16/24 – 04/15/25 $1,000,000 $2,200,000 $3,200,000
04/16/25 – 04/15/26 $1,000,000 $2,300,000 $3,300,000
04/16/26 – 04/15/27 $1,000,000 $2,400,000 $3,400,000
04/16/27 – 04/15/28 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $3,500,000
Termination By University Without Cause:
Employment Agreement may be terminated by the University without cause upon
3 days written notice. In such event, the University shall pay liquidated damages
10/01/21 – 04/15/22: $3,000,000
04/16/22 – 04/15/23: $2,500,000
04/16/23 – 04/15/24: $2,000,000
04/16/24 – 04/15/25: $1,500,000
04/16/25 – 04/15/26: $1,000,000
04/16/26 – 04/15/27: $ 500,000
04/16/27 – 04/15/28: $ 250,000
Termination By Coach:
Employment agreement may be terminated by Coach upon 3 days written notice. In such event, Coach shall pay liquidated damages as
10/01/21 – 04/15/22: $5,000,000
04/16/22 – 04/15/23: $4,500,000
04/16/23 – 04/15/24: $4,000,000
04/16/24 – 04/15/25: $3,500,000
04/16/25 – 04/15/26: $3,000,000
04/16/26 – 04/15/27: $2,500,000
04/16/27 – 04/15/28: $2,000,000
Not only has Staley built a powerhouse in Columbia, she is a fixture on a world basketball scene. A member of the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame, Staley has been the head coach of the USA National Team since 2017 and led her team to the gold medal at last summer’s Olympics.