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Dawn Staley named AP Coach of the Year

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An honor well deserved.

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Mississippi State vs South Carolina Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley added yet another honor to her illustrious basketball career, earning the Associated Press’ Coach of the Year award for the first time on Monday.

As we all know, Staley led the Gamecocks to a program-best No. 1 ranking in the final polls, and South Carolina would have opened NCAA Tournament play as the No. 1 overall seed for the first time had the event gone on as scheduled. USC finished the season at 32-1 — undefeated in conference play — captured the SEC championship, and also won an astonishing 26 consecutive games.

Staley becomes the second African American coach to win the award, following Purdue’s Carolyn Peck in 1999. While we know she’d rather be competing for another national title right now, this an incredible honor for Staley and richly deserved.