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South Carolina’s Tanner gets Contract Extension

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at the University of South Carolina has approved a one-year contract extension for head baseball coach Ray Tanner. The contract extension keeps Tanner under contract through the end of the 2013 season. Coach Tanner is in his 13th year as head coach for the Gamecock baseball program.

“With Coach Tanner and the facilities we have, that’s a recipe for tremendous success,” said athletics director Eric Hyman. “I’m appreciative of the Board of Trustees for extending Ray’s contract.”

In his first 12 seasons at the helm of the Gamecock baseball program, Tanner has compiled one of the top records in all of college baseball with a 540-243 (.690) mark with the Garnet & Black. His. .690 winning percentage is second highest in SEC history behind legendary LSU coach Skip Bertman and highest among all active SEC coaches. In addition, his .584 winning percentage (209-149 record) in SEC league games is best among active SEC coaches as well.

“I am honored to be the baseball coach at the University of South Carolina,” said Ray Tanner. “I am grateful to the Board of Trustees extending my contract. The commitment to our baseball program is unsurpassed, from Dr. Pastides to Eric Hyman to our dedicated and loyal Gamecock fans. I’m extremely happy to be here and I look forward to opening our new stadium as we continue our quest to compete for championships and to return to Omaha and the College World Series. ”

Under Tanner’s leadership, South Carolina has appeared in nine straight NCAA Regionals, the longest current consecutive streak among the 12 SEC schools. He also has led the Gamecocks to seven NCAA Super Regionals in the past nine years, making Carolina one of only five schools in the country since 2000 to accomplish the feat. Tanner and the Gamecocks have made three trips to the College World Series (2002, 2003, 2004) in that time frame in addition to two SEC Championships (2000, 2002) and the school’s first SEC Tournament title (2004). Included in those journeys to Omaha was a national runner-up finish in 2002. Over the past nine years the Gamecocks own a 428-178 record, the fifth highest win total in Division I Baseball as well as an SEC-best 162-107 mark in conference match-ups.

Tanner’s last nine teams have also featured 19 All-America performers including 2008 consensus first-team All-America first baseman Justin Smoak and shortstop Reese Havens.

South Carolina recorded its ninth consecutive 40-plus win season in 2008 and earned a trip to the postseason and the NCAA Raleigh Regional, where the Gamecocks finished in second place. The 2008 squad featured Smoak and Havens, who along with All-America honors, were selected in the first round of the MLB Draft. Smoak was the 11th overall pick to the Texas Rangers with Havens drafted 22nd overall to the New York Mets. The Gamecocks finished with seven players drafted. Smoak and Havens also earned All-SEC accolades along with third baseman James Darnell and designated hitter Phil Disher. Smoak was a first-team choice with Darnell, Disher and Havens named to the second-team.

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