South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley was named one of four finalists for the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year on Wednesday.
Staley has led the Gamecocks to a 27-4 record, capturing the program's first SEC championship and No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. She was joined by fellow finalists Wes Moore of North Carolina State, Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame and Geno Auriemma of UConn.
The four finalists were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy. The winner will be announced next month during the NCAA Women's Final Four in Nashville.
"These four finalists have turned in some of the most impressive coaching jobs in college basketball this season, especially considering the challenges each has had to overcome," Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director Eric Oberman said in a released statement. "They set the standard of exemplary leadership, and we commend them for the tremendous seasons thus far."
Staley has amassed quite the collection of postseason awards this spring. She was already named SEC Coach of the Year by league coaches and the Associated Press.
The Gamecocks open their NCAA tournament run at 5:30 p.m. Sunday against No. 16 seed Cal State Northridge in Seattle. On Tuesday, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier wished the women's hoops team good luck, and shared some praise for Staley.
"I talked to her after winning the SEC, first time in school history," Spurrier said. "She's doing a lot of 'school history' stuff over there."
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