Joined The Augusta Chronicle in 1996 after spending nine years at The Aiken Standard. Served as copy editor, South Carolina bureau chief and Metro Editor before being named Sports Editor in April 2000.
Posted July 12, 2012 11:55 am

South Carolina made right choice for AD

The news out of Columbia this morning is that baseball coach Ray Tanner will become South Carolina's new athletic director.

That's an excellent choice, and another positive development for the Gamecocks.

Tanner has won two national championships at South Carolina and almost pulled off a third title in Omaha this year. He's easily the most successful coach the Gamecocks have ever known.

While Tanner seemed an obvious replacement for Eric Hyman, previous administrations at South Carolina didn't always make the obvious (or right) choice.

I'm told that Tanner had previously expressed interest in the position when it came open before. Now is the right time for him to come in and learn the ropes. He was previously an assistant AD at N.C. State, and Hyman has done a good job of developing and upgrading facilities.

Now Tanner can focus on keeping those plans on track and raising funds for the athletic department. He should excel at both.

South Carolina's athletic department is enjoying unprecedented success. The football team won a record 11 games in 2011 and has beaten Clemson three consecutive years. Baseball's success has been off the charts, and the Gamecocks have made strides in other areas (see women's basketball). Only men's basketball has been a letdown in recent years, but new coach Frank Martin figures to shore up that area.

Now it will be up to Tanner to keep the Gamecocks competing at a high level. If his record in baseball is an indicator, he should be a smashing success.