South Carolina's Dawn Staley gets Naismith honor as top coach

South Carolina's Dawn Staley was named the Naismith women's basketball coach of the year Thursday, becoming the first person in men's or women's basketball to receive the Naismith honor as both a coach and a player.

She was the Naismith player of the year for Virginia in 1991 and 1992, leading the Cavaliers to the Final Four both seasons.

Staley also has won the espnW, Associated Press and WBCA coach of the year awards this season. She led the Gamecocks to a 32-1 record and the SEC regular-season and tournament titles. South Carolina's only loss came on Thanksgiving to Indiana, and the Gamecocks started three freshmen all season. South Carolina was ranked No. 1 for 10 weeks this season and finished in the top spot.

The Gamecocks averaged 82.0 points per game, a school record that was sixth best in Division I. South Carolina was fourth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (33.3%).

Staley just finished her 12th season at South Carolina and has a career record of 305-98 along with the 2017 national championship. The Gamecocks have won the SEC tournament five of the past six years.

South Carolina, the top-drawing women's basketball team in the country for six years in a row, averaged 12,288 fans per home game this season.

Staley thanked her team's fans in a statement accepting the Naismith Award.

"They support us every day, on the court and off it," Staley said. "And it is my hope that during this trying time in our nation, when games like basketball seem so distant, that reading about this award gives those fans a little bit of joy and reminds them a little of what we can all look forward to when we come through this time on the other side."