Then-Temple athletics director Dave O’Brien reached out to her in 2000 and asked if she was interested in the job even though she had no coaching experience and still was playing at an elite level.

For Staley, who had emerged from the North Philly projects to become an international star, it could have come off as little more than a publicity stunt at a program that had struggled to win games or attract fans. And a time when her contemporaries had popularized women’s basketball and gotten the WNBA off the ground, Staley’s focus was completely on her playing career.

“Not one ounce of me wanted to coach,” she said. “They kept asking and asking and I was saying, ‘No, no, no.’ ”

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