LOS ANGELES, CA (October 4, 2022) – Dawn Staley will receive the John R. Wooden Award “Legends of Coaching” honor in 2023. Coach Wooden’s grandson-in-law Craig Impelman and 2021 recipient Dave Yanai were proud to announce her selection at the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s annual Wooden Award Tip-Off Luncheon. The event featured the head coaches from the Division I men’s basketball programs in Southern California. The “Legends of Coaching” honor recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standard of coaching success and personal integrity.
The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Steering Committee in 1999. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rate of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. She will be presented the honor along with the 2023 Wooden Award winners on April 7, 2023.
Coach Staley, a native of Philadelphia, PA, began her coaching career at Temple University, where she led the Owls to six NCAA tournament appearances in her eight years at the helm. She has guided the University of South Carolina to incredible heights in her 14 years of coaching there. She has led the Gamecocks to two National Championships (2017 & 2022), four Final Four appearances, six SEC regular season championships, six SEC tournament championships and has coached two John R. Wooden Award winners (A’ja Wilson in 2018 & Aliyah Boston in 2022). She has also won three Olympic gold medals as a coach for the USA Women’s Basketball team, two as an assistant coach (2008 & 2016) and one as the head coach (2020).
Staley’s exploits also carry over to her incredible on-court career. A two-time National Player of the Year at the University of Virginia, she led the Cavaliers to three Final Fours and was named Most Outstanding Player of the 1991 tournament. A six-time WNBA All Star, in 2011 she was named to the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All-Time, honoring the top players in the league’s first 15 years. On the international stage, Staley won three Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000 & 2004). In recognition of her great playing career, she was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Off the court, Coach Staley has been a beacon in her community. She is the co-founder of INNERSOLE, which aims to provide new sneakers to homeless children and children in need. After her playing career, the WNBA created the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, which is given annually to a player that exemplifies leadership characteristics in the community she lives or works.
John R. Wooden Award
Legends of Coaching Honorees
2023 Dawn Staley, South Carolina
2022 Rick Byrd, Belmont
2021 Dave Yanai, Cal State Dominguez Hills/Los Angeles
2020 C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers
2019 Lon Kruger, Oklahoma
2018 Jay Wright, Villanova
2017 Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2016 Tubby Smith, Texas Tech
2015 Steve Fisher, San Diego State
2014 Tara VanDerveer, Stanford
2013 Bill Self, Kansas
2012 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2011 Tom Izzo, Michigan State
2010 Billy Donovan, Florida
2009 Rick Barnes, Texas
2008 Pat Summitt, Tennessee
2007 Gene Keady, Purdue
2006 Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
2005 Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
2004 Mike Montgomery, Stanford
2003 Roy Williams, Kansas
2002 Denny Crum, Louisville
2001 Lute Olson, Arizona
2000 Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
1999 Dean Smith, North Carolina
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing The Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, The Wooden Award All America Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Chiney Ogwumike (’14), and last year’s recipients, Aliyah Boston of South Carolina and Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.
The Legends of Coaching Award will be presented along with the Wooden Award Men’s and Women’s Players of the Year on April 7, 2023. For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodenaward and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.