According to multiple media reports on Wednesday, current South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley is not interested in becoming the Virginia Cavaliers’ new coach.
Does Dawn Staley have any interest in coaching Virginia? pic.twitter.com/B3S74XpRL5— Josh Hyber (@JoshHyberUSC) March 21, 2018
Staley was asked about her potential interest in the gig at her media availability ahead of USC taking on Buffalo in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. Staley went on to say, according to The State’s Greg Hadley, that the transition from Debbie Ryan (Staley’s coach in her years at UVA) to Joanne Boyle is playing a role in her decision.
Dawn Staley asked straight out if she has any interest in Virginia: “No, I don’t have any interest in Virginia.” Also mentions that last time UVA had an opening “left a sour taste in my mouth.” #Gamecocks— Greg Hadley (@GregHadley9) March 21, 2018
Staley, who played in three Final Fours as a Wahoo and is generally regarded as one of the best student-athletes ever on Grounds, did not elaborate on what led to that “sour taste”. She has a record of 249-86 in her tenth year in Columbia, taking South Carolina to their first Final Four in 2015 and winning the national championship just a season ago.
Boyle announced her retirement yesterday after seven years at the helm of the program. Staley’s Gamecocks beat UVA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Read one way, this would be the kind of statement one could expect any coach to make when a job of this nature opens up. That being said, this was just about as steadfast of an answer as she could have given. Stranger things have happened - Nick Saban saying “I guess I have to say it; I’m not going to be the Alabama coach” and Roy Williams cussing on national TV come to mind - and we don’t know at this time if new athletic director Carla Williams has extended an offer to Staley formally or through back-channels.
But this seems to be the strongest indicator yet that one of Charlottesville’s favorite daughters will not be coming home.