Dawn Staley leads a new wave of coaches

ESPN’s doing a helluva job covering Black History Month this year. Today, Mechelle Voepel writes about legendary Dawn Staley, who is one of a few prominent black female coaches in the NCAA.

While that is a very welcome circumstance, this part of the column explains why Staley is one of the great coaches:

“I have to blow my top on occasion if I feel it, but also remember to speak in their vernacular,” Staley said of her players. “Because they really don’t understand. If they understood, they would do differently. So you’ve got to take it down a few notches and put it in a way where they’ll understand it.

“Sometimes, it’s just experience. You’ve got to get through their growing pains. But I’m never going to put up with anyone disrespecting the game.”

Staley is both “old-school” and “new wave.” She was part of a generation of players that was still closely linked to and respectful of the strides that had been made by those athletes who came before them and established women’s college basketball as we know it.