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Gamecocks to the Final

I was thinking about it and I have only had two dynastic coaches lead teams I root for. Bill Parcells was a great coach, but not really a dynasty-type in NY. The NFC East was never a place where winning was easy.

Davey Johnson had the players, but as my dad would say very often when watching those Mets teams, he overmanaged.

Ray Tanner was my first real dynamo. He catches a lot of shit now, as AD, but there is no denying his on-field success and the recruiting pipeline he created. But truthfu

lly, it was baseball and those South Carolina Gamecocks baseball teams he coached were just dominant, but the coaching was not necessarily "other worldly."

Watching Dawn Staley coach South Carolina Women's Basketball this season has been like watching a great chess master. She makes moves during games that feel like the

y are meant to pay dividends in the next game. It is a crazy level of confidence. And truth be told, I kind of love it. She is our Coach K. Our Nick Saban. And yes, our Geno Auriemma. As a Gamecock since 1989, I have log been jealous of those schools with a well-established, top-of-their game head coach. I can remember traveling to see my team get throttled by the likes of FSU's Bobby Bowden or Kentucky's Rick Pitino. You know what, I freakin' hated those guys. I really did. Still do, actually.

It was a difficult transition when we went out and brought outsiders like Holtz and Spurrier to Columbia. I had disliked those coaches at such an elevated level before they arrived at U of SC. And though both made tremendous contributions to our sports programs, they weren't authentically ours, if that makes sense. I don't think either one ever really called Columbia home.

Dawn is different. I have said it before and I will say it always. The Colonial Life Arena might have been built by Eddie Fogler, but it is decorated by Dawn Staley.

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