South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley recently had some congratulatory words for one of her former players. Olivia Gaines became head coach at Allen University, a South Carolina HBCU, earlier this month.


“Olivia Gaines has built a resume that would allow her to coach anywhere in the country,” Staley said, according to HBCU Gameday. “Her choice to come back to South Carolina and Allen University makes this a special union. I’m excited to see her back in Columbia, and I can’t wait to see her program thrive.”




Gaines played two seasons at South Carolina. She helped the team win the 2014 SEC Regular Season Championship and the 2015 SEC Tournament Title.

Gaines’ new coaching job comes after she worked as staff under former Livingstone College head coach Anita Howard at Georgia Southern during the 2023-2024 season. She was also head coach at Richard Bland College and at USC Salkehatchie. 

She said in a previous statement, as reported by HBCU Sports, “Allen has been my dream job for a long time, and I am looking forward to continuing my career in my home state. The culture is there, but winning consistently has been the missing piece, and that will soon change. I am overwhelmed with joy but prepared for the job.”