COLUMBIA - South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner received a contract extension and raise Friday morning.
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Tanner's contract now runs through 2019. His salary increased $50,000, rising to $725,000 annually. Both upgrades were approved at the university's board of trustees meeting.
Tanner is approaching his second anniversary as South Carolina's athletics director. He was plucked from the Gamecocks' baseball program to replace Eric Hyman on July 13, 2012. Since then, South Carolina's success has continued to grow.
South Carolina's football program finished No. 4 nationally in the Associated Press poll, its first top-five finish. The women's basketball program won its first SEC championship and could be Final Four contenders next season. The baseball team hosted regionals in each of the past two years.
"We're enjoying a great time, a great era of athletics at the University of South Carolina," Tanner told The Post and Courier earlier this week. "I wake up every day challenged to try to move it forward. Not to stay where we are, but try to move it forward. That's exciting. I still compete. For people to think, 'Well, he's not coaching anymore, he's not competitive,' I'm competitive. It's exciting and tremendously rewarding."
Tanner also points to the success South Carolina student-athletes have had in the classroom. The athletics department exceeded a combined 3.0 GPA for the 15th straight semester this spring.
South Carolina is also expanding its athletics facilities. Work is scheduled to begin on the Springs-Brooks Plaza at Williams-Brice Stadium following the 2014 football season. Tanner told The Post and Courier he'd also like to see South Carolina build a new football complex and basketball practice facility, though he said he hasn't brought either idea to the board.
No matter the successes of his past two years, Tanner made it clear he's not finished. He still sees room for South Carolina to continue to grow, and he's excited about the chance to lead the way.
"Just as I cherished the opportunity to be the baseball coach at this university, I certainly feel the same sitting in this chair every day," Tanner told The Post and Courier earlier this week. "I love this university. I love being on this campus and working with (president Harris) Pastides and all of our coaches. I'm honored to be in this position."
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