COLUMBIA — Ray Tanner is well familiar with the road to Omaha. Beginning next season, the South Carolina athletics director will play a role in determining which teams will attempt to get there.
Tanner will be one of three new members on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee beginning with the 2015-16 academic year, according to Damani Leech, the NCAA’s managing director of championships for baseball, volleyball, ice hockey and Football Championship Subdivision football. Leech tweeted Tuesday that Tanner, Maryland athletics director Kevin Anderson, and TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte would all be joining the committee.
According to the NCAA, Tanner will replace Texas A&M athletics director Eric Hyman, whom he also followed as AD at South Carolina. Tanner will serve a four-year term which runs until 2019.
The 10-person committee, which includes members from eight different regions in an attempt to ensure geographic balance, selects the 64 teams which compete in the Division I baseball tournament, concluding with the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Tanner will represent the South Region, according to the NCAA. Anderson will replace Central Michigan athletics director David Heeke, also the committee chair, and represent the Midwest. Del Conte will replace UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero.
Before moving into the athletic director’s role, Tanner served 16 years as South Carolina’s baseball coach, winning 738 games, three SEC titles, and consecutive national championships in 2010 and 2011. Tanner led the Gamecocks to 14 NCAA tournaments, reaching the College World Series six times before top assistant Chad Holbrook succeeded him after the 2012 campaign.