Coach Dawn Staley of No. 1 South Carolina Testifies: “If You Don’t Believe in God, Something’s Wrong with You”

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The head coach of the top-ranked and undefeated team in women’s college basketball on Sunday testified to her faith in God as her players clinched their sixth Final Four during her tenure and continued a historic run.

The Gamecocks (36-0) defeated Oregon State 70-58 in their regional final and will play N.C. State (31-6) on Friday in the national semifinals. It is the Gamecocks’ fourth straight Final Four and their sixth in the last nine tournaments. All have come under Staley, who is in her 16th season. South Carolina won national titles in 2022 and 2017.

Last season, South Carolina lost to Iowa in the semifinals of the Final Four.

Staley is the only South Carolina basketball coach – men’s or women’s – to reach 300 victories.

On Easter Sunday, a joy-filled Staley credited God multiple times during post-game interviews, noting that her team faced a “devastating loss” last year but returned to the Final Four once more.

“If you don’t believe in God, something’s wrong with you,” she told a national TV audience.” Seriously. I’m a Believer, because He makes things come true. When you’re at your worst, He’s at His best.”

Staley continued her faith-filled testimony when she took questions from the media moments after the television broadcast.

“I think God has a funny way of dealing with people. I’m one of His,” she said. “And for us to lose the way we lost last year — and for Him to bring us to this point today makes me believe a little bit deeper. … I don’t want to ever not give God the glory for giving us uncommon favor.”

The Gamecocks coach said she also praises God following losses.

“You just don’t celebrate [after] the victories,” she said. “Last year, I thanked God for even the loss because I don’t want to be one-sided, you know, and to give Him the glory when it is only befitting for wins. Easter is as significant as any other day… He is risen.”

Staley has been open about her Christian faith during her career. After her team won the 2022 national championship, she told a national TV audience, “I have to give glory to God, glory to God. I think people don’t really understand that our path was divinely ordered.”

Image credit: ©Getty Images / Sarah StierStaff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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