Gamecock AD Candidates
Texas A&M hasn't even played its first game against the University of South Carolina yet, but already the Aggies have made headlines in The Palmetto State. The Houston Chronicle has reported that South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman will be the next AD at Texas A&M.
Hyman was introduced as South Carolina Athletics Director prior to the 2005 South Carolina Spring Football game. Hyman's tenure at South Carolina has seen the AD improve facilities and make USC one of the wealthiest athletic departments in the NCAA.
It has also been somewhat of a controversial tenure with Hyman's installation of the YES program at South Carolina which angered many longtime donors, but has been very beneficial to USC's facility upgrades. Hyman also seemed to distant himself from fans at times by dotting the "I" in Tigers during a Clemson band performance. He also seemed out of touch with fans that were angry with Dave Odom with his "Warchest of Credibility comment" and those who were angry with Darrin Horn by saying "People can see the light, Subconsciously, if nothing else, they can see where progress is being made.
Overall I think Hyman has done a solid job. South Carolina has 4 top tier coaches with Steve Spurrier, Ray Tanner, Dawn Staley, and Frank Martin leading the way in its top 4 sports. USC has never seen more success in baseball or football than it has the last couple seasons and both basketball programs seem to have bright futures.
If Hyman is indeed leaving here is my list of candidates USC should look at or names that are certain to be brought up.
1. Ray Tanner- I think it's safe to say that Tanner is probably the most popular coach in South Carolina Athletics History. Tanner has won 2 National Championships at South Carolina and appeared in 4 National Championship games. Tanner was a major player in the construction of Carolina Stadium and has let it be known in the past he would like to be an athletic director one day. Tanner has also served as an associate AD dating back to his days at NC State. Tanner has worked with USA Baseball as a coach in the past, something that shouldn't be overlooked. Skip Bertman was the AD at LSU after dominating college baseball in the 90s.
2. Charles Waddell- Waddell is the Senior Associate Athletic Director at South Carolina. He's been a part of the South Carolina athletic department since 2006. Waddell has an impressive resume that includes being the director of marketing and sponsorship at Richardson Sports(The Carolina Panthers), an assistant commissioner of the Big 10, and a vice chancellor at Fayetteville State. Waddell is a graduate of UNC.
3. Jeff Barber- The Athletic Director at Liberty University is the former Gamecock Club Executive Director and Senior Associate AD. This past year Barber was named the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the Southeast Region. As AD Barber has upgraded facilities with improvements such as the expansion of the football stadium and the current building of a new baseball stadium. Barber also hired former South Carolina assistant baseball coach Jim Toman to head the baseball program at Liberty.
4. Dan Radakovich- Prior to becoming the current Georgia Tech Athletic Director served as associate AD at South Carolina where he helped raise more than $33,000,000 and was one of the key players in the building of The Colonial Life Arena. Multiple facility improvements have happened at Tech under Radakovich, but the biggest is the building of a new basketball arena and an indoor football practice facility. One negative to Radakovich could be that a NCAA Investigation on the football program happened under his watch.
5. Chris Wyrick- The Senior Associate Athletics Director at Arkansas joined the Razorback program after spending 2 years at South Carolina as the Associate Athletic Director for Development. Wyrick helped reorganize the Gamecock Club and helped to double the schools revenue from 06 to 07. While at Arkansas, Wyrick has helped with the installation of Arkansas' RSVP program(similar to the YES program). The Razorbacks announced last fall a $300 million facility project for all sports
6. Brad Edwards- Edwards is best known for his interception return for a TD in the 1987 Clemson Football game. He is currently the AD of my alma mater Newberry College. Edwards served as Senior Associate Athletic Director at South Carolina from 1999-2006. While he has provided Newberry with a big local name, I personally have seen nothing under his leadership that makes me believe he deserves to be AD at a SEC school. Newberry College finished 130th this past season in the Division II Director's Cup Standings. While Presbyterian College has moved up to D1 athletics, it's biggest rival Newberry continues to struggle in most athletics. I know Edwards is a Gamecock hero on the field, but off the field this Newberry College graduate isn't impressed with his tenure.
7. Danny Morrison- Morrison is the current President of the Carolina Panthers. He earned his doctorate from The University of South Carolina in 2000 and is the man who replaced Eric Hyman as AD at TCU. While at TCU, 16 of the 20 Horned Frog programs participated in the postseason. Morrison was also the former Commissioner of the Southern Conference from 2001-2005 and is a member of the Wofford Athletic Hall of Fame.
2 Guys I'd Look at, but I have no idea if they'd be interested
8. Tom Jurich- Jurich has been at Louisville since 1997. When Jurich came to Louisville it was a struggling athletic department who's only athletic identity was its basketball program. Since then Jurich has seen the Cardinals go the the College Wold Series, win a BCS Bowl game, and go to multiple final 4s. Jurich has also helped build one of the nicest basketball facilities in the country and provide major upgrades to Papa John's Stadium. Jurich is also the man who took UL from being a midmajor to being a member of a BCS Conference.
9. Jim Phillips- Phillips is the AD at Northwestern and was named the Under Armour AD of the Year for the Central Region. Under Phillips the football program participated in 4 consecutive bowls for the first time in school history and the basketball program had consecutive 20 win seasons for the first time ever as well. Other sports have done as well, like the women's lacrosse program that has won 6 of the last 7 NCAA National Championships. Phillips has a Ph.D from The University of Tennessee and was an assistant athletic director for the Vols, giving him SEC experience.
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