Dawn Staley, Adia Barnes make history in NCAA women’s basketball

Their success in coaching their teams has landed them in the final four of the tournament.


FILE- In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley participates in the school anthem after an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue in Columbia, S.C. The veteran Gamecocks coach was announced as The Associated Press women's basketball coach of the year Monday, March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)
By: Alyssa Wilson

Basketball legends Dawn Staley and Adia Barnes have made history in the NCAA tournament for women’s basketball, landing in the final four. 

This is the first time two Black coaches have led their team to the finals. 

Staley, coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team, is a Hall of Fame player and coach with three Olympic gold medals. 

Barnes is the coach of the Arizona Wildcats women’s basketball team. 

According to AZ Central, Barnes is finishing her fifth year as coach and her team is ranked 11th in the nation. Staley, who is finishing up her 13th season coaching, has led the team to be ranked 6th nationally and they are the number one seed. 

Staley joined Start Your Day with Sharon Reed and Mike Hill to discuss the historic feat. 

She said “representation matters” and that the success she and Barnes achieved is history-changing for Black coaches. 

“History hasn’t been on the side of Black coaches. We are in a position to change history,” she said. 

Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks will take on the Stanford Cardinals on Friday at 6 p.m. 

Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson said their presence in the final four is historic.

Barnes’ Arizona Wildcats will take on the UConn Huskies on Friday at 9:30 p.m. 

The winners will move on to face each other for the title. 

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