South Carolina's Dawn Staley tells Kevin Hart she never wanted to coach. Here's what changed her mind

South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley said she never really wanted to be a coach, but that is what got her into coaching.

During Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Staley was a guest on NBA Unplugged with Kevin Hart.

During the third quarter of the game, Staley told the story of what got her into coaching after years of playing in the WNBA.

"What really got me into coaching was not wanting to be a coach," Staley said. "It's weird but I didn't ever want to be a coach ...  Dave O'Brien the athletic director at Temple (University) challenged me to turn the Temple women's basketball program around and I'd never been challenged (before) in that way."

Staley played at Virginia but was born and raised in Philadelphia. Hart is also from Philadelphia.

"So you know, if you challenge a North Philadelphian we are going to prove you wrong," Staley said.

Her WNBA career didn't come to a close until 2006, when she retired after playing with the Houston Comets. Staley played for the Charlotte Sting from 1999-2005. Staley was a five-time WNBA All-Star.

Staley made her coaching debut at Temple in 2000 and the Owls reach the postseason seven times in her eight seasons as coach, including six NCAA Tournament appearances. In her first college coaching job, Staley went 172-80 with four Atlantic 10 Tournament titles and two A10 Coach of the Year Awards.

Since moving on to coach South Carolina in 2008, Staley has won three national championships, four Naismith National Coach of the Year Awards and eight SEC Tournament championships.

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Lulu Kesin covers South Carolina athletics for The Greenville News and the USA TODAY Network. Email her at and follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, @Lulukesin

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Dawn Staley: Coach tells Kevin Hart she never planned on this career