USC’s Dawn Staley sends message of support to Beverly Smith after coaching change

Dwayne McLemore/dmclemore@thestate.com

Dawn Staley lost a colleague on Saturday when the University of South Carolina fired softball coach Beverly Smith.

The two coaches have been longtime friends. Staley’s been a visible and vocal supporter of Smith’s program over the years, both in person at Carolina Softball Stadium and on social media.

Staley on Saturday sent a message of support via X (Twitter) shortly after the news of Smith’s departure, saying: “@scsbcoach_bev you will always be my rider!! Hope you know this doesn’t diminish who you are and the successes you’ve given us. Love you BB, your staff and everyone who’ve supported!”

Smith in 2018 spoke ahead of the postseason about the connection she and Staley have.

“Honestly,” Smith said, “our conversations aren’t much about coaching. She’s got her basketball mind and I have my softball (mind). We talk about a lot of different things, we solve a lot of the world’s problems. Leadership, things going on in sports, we’ll talk about those kind of things.”

Smith admitted she leaned on Staley to offer words of motivation when it came to the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

“She’ll come speak to our team about what it’s like in the postseason, the mentality of the postseason, Smith said in 2018. “She has been a great resource to draw from.”

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