COLUMBIA, S.C.– University of South Carolina president Dr. Harris Pastides announced Friday that longtime Gamecock baseball coach Ray Tanner has been selected as the university’s new director of athletics. Tanner will begin his new duties on Aug. 2.
“Sometimes you can search the world over for the perfect candidate and at times you know you have the right leader within your organization,” said Dr. Pastides. “For USC, we knew we had the right person on our team already. When Coach Tanner approached me two years ago and sought more administrative responsibilities, I clearly knew that this was an individual who was seeking a way to lead; to take our great university to the next level,” noted Pastides. “Ray exemplifies all the qualities I am seeking in an Athletics Director: integrity, a winning attitude, a confident leader and manager and an individual who puts the well-being of our student-athletes above and beyond all other things.”
A dedicated community leader whose charitable organization has made a difference in many South Carolina families, a three-time National Coach of the Year and Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, Tanner just completed his 16th year as head coach at the University of South Carolina. Tanner has established one of the premier programs in college baseball. He has led the Garnet & Black to two NCAA Division I baseball championships, a pair of national runner-up finishes, six College World Series appearances, three SEC championships, six SEC Eastern division titles, a SEC tournament crown and 13 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Under the direction of Tanner, South Carolina’s postseason success from 2010-12 is arguably the greatest run in collegiate baseball history. In the three-year span, the Gamecocks established NCAA records with 22 consecutive postseason wins and 12 consecutive wins in the College World Series. The Gamecocks won the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 2010 and 2011 with a national runner-up finish in 2012. South Carolina’s 30-4 (.882) record over the past three seasons in the NCAA Tournament is the fifth best three-year postseason record in NCAA history.
In addition, the 2012 CWS trip marked the sixth time in 11 years that South Carolina had reached Omaha. No Division I baseball team has made more appearances than the Gamecocks during the last 11 seasons.
Tanner and the Gamecocks have created one of the top environments in college baseball at Carolina Stadium. After a successful run at Sarge Frye Field through 2008, the Gamecocks made the move to the new $36 million Carolina Stadium where college baseball has continued to grow. South Carolina’s total attendance of 295,389 in the 2012 season was second-highest in the nation. The average attendance of 7,574 also was a Carolina Stadium record, besting the previous mark of 7,431 in the 2011 season. The Gamecocks also set a record for sellouts in 2012 with 15 games at a capacity of 8,242 fans. In addition, South Carolina set a record for season tickets sold with a total of 5,580 sold in the preseason before the 2012 campaign.
Under Tanner’s leadership, South Carolina owns the longest current streak of NCAA Regional appearances among the 12 SEC schools with 13 consecutive trips to the tournament dating back to the 2000 season. In that span, Carolina has 10 NCAA Super Regional appearances (2000, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’06, ’07, ’10, ’11, ’12). South Carolina is one of only two schools in the nation to make at least 10 NCAA Super Regionals in the last 13 years and one of only six schools in the country to have reached the NCAA Regionals every season from 2000 to the present.