Dawn Staley has announced that she will not return to coach Team USA during the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France. Staley shared her decision with members of the media after this weekend's Olympic final.
"I'm done," she said as she sat next to Team USA point guard Diana Taurasi.
"Does that feel good, Dawn?" Taurasi, who is also not expected to return in 2024, asked jokingly.
Staley is the first Black woman to coach Team USA during the Olympic women's 5x5 basketball tournament. After going undefeated in pool play, Team USA took down Australia, Serbia and Japan en route to a 7th straight gold medal in the event.
"It's always really difficult to win a gold medal, and this year was even harder," five-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird said about the team's journey to a gold medal.
"To deal with all the same adversity everyone else was dealing with and never let it get us down. I'm happy. That's it."
With the Tokyo Olympics in her rearview mirror, Staley looks back at the experience with great fondness. Most of all, she enjoyed "just playing" basketball with a sense of innocence that is hard to have at the collegiate and professional levels.
"It creates that like no other team you'll participate on," Staley said.
"It's the very thing I try to coach my college team [to have.]"
Moving forward, Staley will shift her focus back toward the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. Last season, she led the Gamecocks to a 26-5 record and a Final Four appearance. This season, the Gamecocks will bring in the nation's number one recruiting class along with a 2019 recruiting class that has gone 58-6 over the last two seasons. If all goes well, Staley and her team hope to compete with the University of Connecticut and the Sanford Cardinal for a national championship.