Head coaches and student-athletes visited with the media Tuesday afternoon.
Jan. 27, 2009
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South Carolina invited the media to meet with various head coaches and student-athletes Tuesday afternoon at the Spring Sports Media Luncheon in the Frank McGuire Room of Colonial Life Arena. Head coaches for equestrian, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field all made opening remarks before visiting with the media individually.
Below are quotes from each coach's opening remarks.
Boo Major - Equestrian Head Coach
"We won our opening meet this past weekend. We traveled to Tennessee-Martin, where we won both western and hunt seat. So we've had a good start to the spring. We've also hired a new assistant coach for hunt seat, Alixe Schwartz. She's from Boston, Mass., and she's done a fantastic job."
"Our recruiting has gone fantastic this year. We've signed seven and are looking at bringing in five or six more to visit. One on the hunt seat side is Kimberly McCormack, and she's really the top equestrian in the country as far as the juniors are concerned."
Puggy Blackmon - Director of Golf
"We're at a point in time where the men's team is ready to win some major championships. Even though we lost three seniors to graduation last year, including All-American Mark Anderson, we've filled that void with some really good freshmen."
"After two years of competing to get to the top of the SEC, I think these guys are read to do that. A lot of opposition from Georgia and Florida, Alabama - all are going to be great. This team, two years ago won the NCAA West Regional, and I think they're poised to do it again."
Kalen Anderson - Women's Golf Head Coach
"For the spring we start off in Tampa. We head off to LSU and Texas, and we'll be hosting the SEC Championships up at Cobblestone April 17-19. We're definitely headed in the right direction. Recruiting is going great; we've got some great prospects coming in."
Joyce Compton - Softball Head Coach
"We have 10 new players, nine of them freshmen. This team is looking to rebound from an off season last year. We have players in place, and we've helped ourselves athletically. Our leadership has definitely become a positive for our team."
"Overall our practices have gone better then they have in the past preseasons. I feel like we're competing better as a team. Our conference is probably the second toughest; we can start laying claims to being the toughest conference in the country."
McGee Moody - Swimming Head Coach
"A lot of things have changed this past year with this program. One of the first things that really we set are minds to as a coaching staff was to go out and recruit a lot of freshman talent that was going to help improve our team. We brought in 21 [freshmen], and they're doing an outstanding job for us this year."
"We had Nick Walkotten, who is a senior for us this year, represent the United States out at the World Championships last April. He did an outstanding job, finishing fifth in the world. We also had nine swimmers at the Olympic trials this past summer."
Todd Sherritt - Diving Coach
"The team that I put together here I really think is going to be one of the best ones we've ever had at South Carolina. The kids on the diving team all have the elite mentality."
Kent DeMars - Men's Tennis Head Coach
"It's good to have Jaime [Cuellar] back. He tore up his leg a few years back and has spent the last two years coming back.. He's really the heart and soul of this team. He was even two years ago. He has got a great competitive drive. He's really fierce on the court."
"We're really looking forward to [the season]. I feel like we're a good team. We'll just have to see how we'll do. I feel pretty confident going in."
Arlo Elkins - Women's Tennis Head Coach
"We are currently ranked 33rd , which is a good ranking, but it only puts us ninth in the SEC. with the team we have we really expect to do a lot better then that."
"Ana [Marija Zubori} is currently ranked number 14 in the country, which is the second-highest player we've ever had at South Carolina. We really expect her to be, when the rankings come out next week, in the top 10 in the country."
Curtis Frye - Track & Field Head Coach
"What makes us strong is continuity. My staff, I've been here 13 years; my associate coach Delethea Quarles has been here 12 years; Mike Sergent has been here 12 years; Stan Rosenthal has been here eight. Those things make us good."
"We had five [athletes] at world championships, all in the medals, returning to us. We have five men All-Americans returning, six on the women's side, which will be good for us."
"We were picked 16th on both the men's and women's national ranking. I want to stay there all year, until we go to championships. We have a much better team this year. We have another vision, and Jason [Richardson] came back to help us with that vision."