The Daily Gamecock

Column: Who should receive the next statue at South Carolina?

On Jan. 18, former South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson was presented with her own statue that will reside in front of Colonial Life Arena. As it stands, Wilson and 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers are the only Gamecocks to be awarded this honor. 

Here are five coaches and athletes who should be in consideration to receive the next statue at South Carolina:

Dawn Staley, women's basketball

While her coaching tenure at South Carolina is far from over, Staley has proven her value to the program as a whole. Since coming to Columbia in 2008, she has amassed a 317-99 record as head coach. 

Staley has rebuilt the Gamecocks into a perennial powerhouse and led them to a national championship, two Final Four appearances and five SEC championships. 

Steve Spurrier, football

Regardless of the way Spurrier's tenure as the head coach of South Carolina football ended, there is no denying he changed the landscape of the program. As the winningest coach in program history, he coached the Gamecocks to three consecutive 11-win seasons from 2011-13 as well as an SEC Eastern Division championship in 2010. 

As if that was not impressive enough, the "Head Ball Coach" led the Gamecocks to five straight wins against in-state rival Clemson from 2009-13. 

Connor Shaw, football

As a three-year starting quarterback, Shaw threw for 6,074 yards with 56 touchdowns as the leader of the South Carolina offense in the early 2010s. He is the winningest quarterback in school history with a 27-5 record and went a perfect 17-0 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

In his final collegiate game, Shaw was named the most valuable player in the Capital One Bowl, being responsible for five total touchdowns and throwing for 312 yards in a 34-24 win over Wisconsin.

Alex English, men's basketball

While English is most remembered for his success as a lethal scorer for the Denver Nuggets of the 1980s, his rise to stardom began at South Carolina. 

Over his four-year career as Gamecock, English started in every game he played and was selected to two independent All-American teams in 1975 and 1976. When he graduated, his 1,972 career points were the most in program history. 

English has been inducted into both the College Basketball Hall of Fame and Basketball Hall of Fame, and his number 22 is retired by the school. 

Michael Roth, baseball

Roth played an integral role in South Carolina’s run to back-to-back College World Series championships in 2010 and 2011. While he was a relief pitcher for a majority of his first two seasons, his big break came in Omaha, where he threw a complete game against Clemson and was the starting pitcher in the deciding game of the national championship against UCLA. 

As a junior, Roth compiled a 14-3 record and a 1.06 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 145 innings. He also became the second pitcher in NCAA history to start in two CWS deciding games after pitching 7.2 innings against Florida in the championship. 

The South Carolina bullpen at Founders Park is already named after Roth, so it would only make sense for a statue to be etched in his name in the near future.