As we all know, Eric Hyman officially resigned as the Athletic Director at South Carolina today and will take the same position at our new conference rival, Texas A&M. Hyman was just shy of his seventh anniversary as a member of Gamecock Nation.
While I have to admit the move is a little surprising to me, Hyman has family in Texas, so it makes sense in that regard. He also has previous experience in the area and is one of the top AD’s in the country.
He did so much at USC, and I’m sure the Aggies are hoping he can do as well there as he did here. Thanks for everything, sir, and like university president Dr. Pastides said today, we look forward to beating your new school at every possible opportunity.
So with Hyman out, who could the next AD be? Pastides has put together a five-person advisory committee that includes Dawn Staley and Tommy Suggs, and an interim athletic director appointment should happen in about a week.
One name that’s been thrown into the mix is current baseball coach Ray Tanner. He’s supposedly really, really interested in the position, and he’s obviously very familiar with USC athletics. He also served as the associate AD at NC State before coming to Carolina, so it’s not like he’d be totally lost.
That being said, he’s done an excellent job with the baseball team, so a) would he actually want to be done coaching and b) would that be good for the baseball team? Assistant coach Chad Holbrook has long been seen as the coach-in-waiting, and I have no doubt that he could take over the program and run it very, very well. If Ray is truly ready to swap his coaching hat for an administrative one, then he should be strongly considered.
Whether or not Tanner wants the job, though, South Carolina must look at other potential replacements. Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech’s current AD, is one possible candidate. He was an associate AD for the Gamecocks from the mid-90s until 2000, so he too has some familiarity with the programs. That being said, a lot has changed since the new millenium dawned, so he’d have plenty to learn, too.
Another option is Brad Edwards. He’s Newberry College’s AD and a Gamecock hero of sorts. He was also Senior Associate AD at USC from 1999-2006. That being said, the leap from Division II to a Division I SEC school could be challenging, and as much as fans would likely be excited to have Edwards back, he may need to prove himself a bit more before he could be considered for the position.
If the advisory committee is looking to keep things in-house, Charles Waddell, who took over when Edwards left, could be a viable option. He brings with him an impressive resume, including working with the Carolina Panthers and the Big Ten, and is obviously aware of how things work at Carolina.
These are by no means the only options. With the improvements our individual teams and athletics department as a whole have made recently, the position is certainly appealing, and I would have to think that there will be a solid list of interested applicants.
South Carolina’s athletics programs need to keep up the forward progress, and that can’t happen unless everyone is working in harmony. Regardless of who becomes our new Athletic Director, The advisory committee will have to find someone who best fits our needs and can keep us going in the right direction.