AP Source: Ray Tanner to become South Carolina AD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Gamecocks' two-time national champion baseball coach Ray Tanner will be South Carolina's next athletic director, said a person familiar with the move.
Tanner is expected to be introduced Friday, the person told The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the school has not publically announced the hire.
Tanner replaces Eric Hyman, who resigned two weeks ago to become athletic director at Texas A&M.
Tanner brought the school its first men's national team titles in any sport when the Gamecocks won the College World Series in 2010 and 2011. South Carolina reached the CWS again last month, finishing runner up to Arizona in the championship series.
Tanner's top assistant, Chad Holbrook, is expected to take over as South Carolina baseball coach.
Tanner has long considered athletic administration as his next step and was interested in the athletic director's position in 2005 when Hyman was hired. Tanner had been an assistant athletic director at North Carolina State and quickly became the popular choice among fans soon after Hyman's resignation.
Tanner was 738-316 in 16 seasons with the Gamecocks. He led the team to six College World Series appearances, including the past three seasons. Tanner was also baseball coach with the Wolfpack for nine seasons before moving to South Carolina. It was there Tanner served as assistant to the athletic director and assistant AD in charge of game operations.
Tanner, 54, is one of the school's most popular coaches and quickly became the fans' choice to succeed Hyman. He also eventually became the choice of University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides.
Pastides had appointed a panel of five to consider an interim athletic director after Hyman's resignation but decided to make a fulltime hire instead after returning from a trip overseas.
Hyman said this week Tanner was an intelligent person capable of making the jump to athletic director. However, Hyman cautioned Tanner would have to broaden his mindset in the new role and get away from the black-and-white approach many successful coaches take.
"You deal with so many stakeholders," he said. "That's a lot different. So you have to operate in the gray, a lot more than in the coaching world."
Tanner's biggest task might be keeping the rising South Carolina program on the right track. The football team won a record 11 games last season, the men's basketball team is rebuilding under recently hired Kansas State coach Frank Martin and the women's basketball team returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine years under popular coach Dawn Staley.
Tanner will move into a brand new office at the top of a new coach's support building and oversee a host of projects to revamp athletic facilities that began under Hyman.
The baseball program should continue in good hands. Tanner has groomed Holbrook to move up since the assistant coach joined the program from North Carolina four years ago.
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