South Carolina Football: New AD, No Problem with Spurrier at the Helm
I have heard many panic stories over the course of the last few days. Don't worry, Gamecock fans. You will be just fine.
While I have to applaud and appreciate the work that former athletic director Eric Hyman did for the Gamecocks, he isn't the biggest reason for the athletic department's turn around. In fact, I give three men more of the credit.
Those men are Ray Tanner, Steve Spurrier and Lou Holtz. Yes, Lou Holtz. And only because he talked Steve Spurrier into coming to South Carolina.
All Eric Hyman needed to do was swallow his pride and listen to these guys, which he did beautifully. When Tanner came to him and said that the Gamecocks needed a new stadium and that it would garner more revenue, Hyman listened. Now the Gamecocks have the nicest stadium in the country (not debatable).
I won't go into too much detail about Ray Tanner and the championship run his team was on (he would be the best choice for Athletic Director, in my opinion) because this is a football piece. This brings me to Spurrier.
Steve Spurrier has done more for the culture of South Carolina athletics than any other coach in history, including Tanner. While Tanner brought national championships, Spurrier brought respect. Baseball isn't nearly as far reaching in the collegiate ranks as football, and the football team has grown in leaps and bounds.
When Spurrier declared that Williams-Brice needed to be renovated, Hyman obliged. When Spurrier told Hyman they needed to upgrade the facilities to be competitive, he obliged again.
Hyman did has fair share of great work. He hit home runs with the hires of Dawn Staley for the women's basketball team, and Frank Martin for the men's. He's kept all of the other programs competing at a high national level. He's done good things.
However, as long as coaching legends like Ray Tanner and Steve Spurrier are around campus, the new athletic director won't have much to worry about in order to maintain the school's growth.
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