July 13, 2012
Dr. Harris Pastides, University President
This is a very happy occasion, but I did not take this decision lightly. The athletics enterprise at USC affects 550 student-athletes, commands an annual budget of $81 million and is a division that employs about 200 individuals. What happens on the fields and on the courts of play impacts the reputation of our university on a daily basis. ... Sometimes you can search the world over for the perfect candidate and sometimes you know have the right leader right within your own bullpen. This time around, I knew we had the right person on our team already.
So after a great career as a coach and an assistant athletics director at NC State, possessing an outstanding record of community engagement and philanthropy through his family foundation that has brought relief and happiness to South Carolina organizations and families in need, and with huge amounts of national media exposure, speaking engagements, and with the personality to inspire and to lead, I am pleased to share with you that effective August 2nd, the University of South Carolina's Athletics Director will be Ray Tanner.
It's kind of funny how you change one uniform for another, and this one makes you more nervous. I want to thank Dr. Pastides very, very much, with a special thanks to his advisory board and our USC Board of Trustees. I want to thank our coaches and current administration in the athletics department, who have already shown great support as we enter into a new era together. I want to thank my wife, Karen, and our children, who have unwavering love and support. As is often the case in our business, our jobs impact our families, and my family, just like yours, handles it with a wonderful spirit, which I truly appreciate.
Today I am honored and humbled to become athletics director of this great university. As Dr. Pastides alluded to, I've had an interest in returning to athletic administration once my coaching career was over.
We currently have tremendous momentum in our department. I'm very excited to begin my new role as we continue on our path to give Carolina forward momentum. It is imperative that we stay on track as we compete in the SEC and nationally. As you all know, we have tremendous coaches across all sports, and we have a great administrative staff here in place.
For my first official act as AD, I would like to announce two new assignments that have been accepted. First, Charles Waddell will move into the role of deputy athletics director, and Kevin O'Connell will move into the position of chief operating officer. Thanks to both of you for stepping up to help me lead our department.
Quotes from South Carolina Head Coaches
Frank Martin, Men's Basketball
"As concerned as I was the day Eric Hyman
decided to leave, I am even more excited for President Pastides' decision to hire Ray Tanner
as our next director of athletics. He has proven that he can lead people and win championships as well as anyone. I look forward to having him as our new leader."
Dawn Staley, Women's Basketball
"With Ray Tanner's unprecedented success on the field, his name quickly surfaced as a top candidate, and that did not change throughout our quick but thorough search process. It is with enthusiasm that I join President Pastides, and the entire advisory committee, in welcoming Ray Tanner, a familiar and well-respected member of our Gamecock family as our new athletics director."
Stan Rosenthal, Women's Cross Country
"I am very excited to have Coach Tanner as our new athletics director. He is a wonderful person and will do an awesome job for everyone in Gamecock Nation."
Boo Major, Equestrian
"How exciting it is to have one of our own become athletics director at South Carolina. Ray Tanner is a great choice for our university at this time. He has the demeanor and personality to lead us to the next level, just as he did with the baseball team. I am looking forward to working with Ray in his new role."
Steve Spurrier, Football
"I applaud the choice of Ray Tanner as athletics director. I believe the President made an excellent decision. Our athletics department is in very good hands with Ray Tanner. I look forward to working with Ray and President Pastides for several years to come."
Bill McDonald, Men's Golf
"Congratulations to Coach Tanner and his family. It's a great day for Gamecock Athletics! Coach Tanner is a proven leader, and he has certainly shown he has the ability to get the most out of his people. His passion for this great University is contagious and unwavering. I am excited to have Coach Tanner leading the way into the next great era of Gamecock Athletics."
Kalen Harris, Women's Golf
"I am thrilled that Ray Tanner will be leading our athletics department. Coach Tanner has strong relationships within the Gamecock community, and he understands the needs of coaches and student-athletes. His success as a coach speaks for itself, and I am confident that he will continue to move Gamecock athletics toward excellence."
Mark Berson, Men's Soccer
"Ray Tanner is a tremendous choice to be our athletics director. He has all the qualities that you look for in a leader. He is a proven winner at the highest level, in the most demanding conference in the country. His ability to produce back-to-back national championships speaks for itself in terms of his management ability and his ability to lead. Most importantly, Ray Tanner is a quality person, and he is a Gamecock through and through. He is the right man for the job.
Shelley Smith, Women's Soccer
"I'm excited to have chance to work for Ray. He's a tremendous person. He's been very successful as a coach, but I know he has the ability to lead a department. The way he interacts with others, the way he's given back to the community shows what a tremendous person he is. I'm proud to be coaching under his leadership."
Beverly Smith, Softball
"I am thrilled for Coach Tanner. To go from coach to athletics director is a tribute to his proven leadership ability. This is an exciting time for Gamecock fans and, certainly, for the athletics staff."
McGee Moody, Swimming & Diving
"Ray has one of the best coaching minds and has the ability to lead a group to greatness. I truly believe this will translate over to his leadership of our department. He is well respected within the department and will have the support of the coaches on staff. I have enjoyed working side-by-side with Ray, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work for him in the future."
Josh Goffi, Men's Tennis
"Coach Tanner has proven his ability to lead teams to the pinnacle of his sport. There is not a doubt in my mind that the same qualities he used to lead his team will translate into success as our athletics director. I am truly excited for what is to come for Gamecock Athletics."
Curtis Frye, Track & Field
"It's the right time and the right guy. The University of South Carolina could not have hired a better person as an administrator to manage our program and take it to the next level. Ray understands coaches and the importance of empowering them to do what they do. I look forward to working with him."
Scott Swanson, Volleyball
"I am extremely excited about this hire. Coach Tanner is going to be an amazing mentor for a lot of us coaches. For someone who has had his success to share his ideas with young coaches like myself is a great opportunity for us. I am excited about the future of Gamecock athletics with Coach Tanner."