These Two Coaches Make History As The First Black Women To Lead Teams To NCAA Women’s Final Four Simultaneously


April 2, 2021

She shoots, she scores!

Two Black women coaches are making history, leading their teams to the NCAA Women’s Final Four tournament for the first time, People reports.


South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley and Arizona Wildcats head coach Adia Barnes have secured their teams’ spots to compete for the championship. This is Staley’s third time and Barnes’s first in the Final Four, but they’re both making history as the first Black women to lead teams to the Final Four. They follow in the footsteps of Pokey Chatman, who led LSU to the NCAA, C. Vivian Stringer, who took three teams, and Carolyn Peck, the first Black woman to win an NCAA championship.



Both Staley and Barnes are former WNBA players, also making them the first former players to lead teams to the top four spots as head coaches. Barnes said she didn’t initially realize her appearance would be historic, but is proud to share the moment with Staley. 

“I think representation is extremely important. It’s incredible to be representing Black female coaches on the biggest stage. This is the biggest stage for women’s basketball, so it’s an honor. To be behind someone like Dawn Staley. Dawn Staley is incredible. She’s a proven winner who has done amazing things for women’s basketball. To even be in the conversation with someone that great, it’s an honor,” Barnes said.


Staley echoed her sentiments, saying, “[Im] super proud of Adia. There are so many Black coaches out there that don’t get opportunity because when [Athletic Directors] don’t see it, they don’t see it – and they’re going to see it on the biggest stage of a Friday night, that two Black women are representing two programs in the Final Four, something that has never been done before.”

 We’re rooting for everybody, Black! Congratulations ladies!

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Wild Cats/SportsTalkSC

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