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April 26, 2002

Ray Tanner, who has led the University of South Carolina baseball program to three straight seasons of top 10 national rankings and back-to-back NCAA Super Regionals, has received a new five-year contract from the University. The extension and amendments to Tanner’s contract, which now runs through May 31, 2007, were approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees Friday afternoon.

Heading into the 2002 season, the Gamecock baseball program had won more games (105) than any other squad in the country over the past two years. USC is currently ranked fifth in the nation with an overall record of 31-10 and leads the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference with an 11-6 mark.

Tanner is in his sixth season with the Gamecocks. He has compiled a 248-105 won-loss record during this time, for a winning percentage of better than 70 percent. Tanner was named National Coach of the Year in 2000 and has been a two-time SEC Coach of the Year selection.

“We’re pleased to announce Coach Tanner’s contract extension as we believe that nobody has a better baseball coach than Carolina,” said Mike McGee, director of athletics. “Coach Tanner and his staff have done a remarkable job in building a consistent championship-caliber program that is certainly reflective of the quality of sports programs that we aspire to have across the board here at Carolina.”

All of the increases to Coach Tanner’s contract come from athletics department funds. Among the amendments to his contract that were approved Friday include:

  • Increase of annual base salary from $96,900 to $125,000
  • Opportunities to earn supplemental compensation based upon the team?s performance, including: $10,000 should the team win the SEC Eastern Division and/or the SEC Championship; $10,000 should the team be selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament; $10,000 should the team win the NCAA Regional Championship and advance to the NCAA Super Regional; $10,000 should the team win the NCAA Super Regional and advance to the NCAA College World Series; $10,000 should the team advance to the championship game of the College World Series; $50,000 should the team win the NCAA College World Series; and $25,000 should Coach Tanner be named consensus National Coach of the Year by Baseball America; Collegiate Baseball; U.S. Baseball Weekly; and/or College Baseball.
  • Coach Tanner may terminate the contract upon 30 days written notice; provided, however, if he accepts a baseball coaching position at the collegiate level at any time during the remaining term of the contract, he shall pay the University liquidated damages in an amount equal to 50 percent of his base salary, per year, for the remainder of the term of the contract, not to exceed $100,000.

“I am honored and grateful for this contract extension,” said Coach Tanner via telephone from Lexington, Ky., where the Gamecocks will play the University of Kentucky in a three-game series this weekend. “The athletics department, the players, assistant coaches and our great fans have made Sarge Frye Field a very special place for college baseball. The staff and I are excited about the continuation of our quest for SEC championships, NCAA Tournament appearances and the College World Series. Carolina is a special place and I’m extremely happy to be here.”