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June 29, 2012

University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides has accepted the resignation of athletics director Eric Hyman, it was announced today. Hyman is expected to take a similar post at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

“We wish Eric well in his next endeavor. The University of South Carolina bears the marks of his leadership- from enhanced facilities to the hiring of strong coaches to higher student graduation rates,” Dr. Pastides said. “We will miss him on our team, but his legacy has made us stronger.”

“I am very excited for the opportunity to help transition Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference,” said Hyman. “While this is a tremendous opportunity, the downside is leaving all the dedicated and loyal fans in Gamecock Nation and the best athletic department in the country. Pauline and I have loved living in Columbia. It will be sad to leave all the wonderful friends we have made.”

Regarded as an architect of championship programs, an advocate for academic success and a skilled administrator, Hyman began his duties at South Carolina on July 1, 2005.

Hyman has developed an outstanding reputation as a leader among his peers. He was named the 2003-04 Street and Smith’s Business Journal National Athletics Director of the Year and was also selected as the Division I-A West Regional Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

In September 2008, he assumed the duties as president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association. More recently, he was named to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and was selected as the 2010-11 Under Armour Southeast Region Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA.

Under Hyman’s leadership, the South Carolina Athletics Department has made tremendous strides in becoming a nationally prominent program with the goal of competing for championships in all sports, as exhibited by the school’s first men’s national championship with the baseball team’s title in June 2010 and repeated in June 2011.

During the 2011-12 academic year, the football team set a school record for most wins in a season with 11; the women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16; the women’s soccer team was crowned SEC regular season champions; the women’s golf team captured the East Regional title and finished fifth at the NCAA Championships; and the baseball team was the national runner-up at the College World Series. In addition, both men and women’s soccer, tennis, golf, and track and field advanced to the postseason.

His hiring of successful head coaches, the development of a $200 million master plan of facilities, and the school’s first athletics capital campaign have taken South Carolina athletics to new heights. Hyman has successfully guided the department through a football seat donation initiative, which, along with philanthropic gifts and money guaranteed through the television agreement, has provided the financial resources to place Gamecock facilities equal to and above the standards of their SEC rivals.

Under Hyman’s tenure, the Carolina Stadium state-of-the-art baseball facility opened in the spring of 2009; the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center opened in February 2010; followed closely by an adjacent parking garage and tennis center. The Rice Athletics Center coaches’ support building opened in June 2012. In addition, the athletic training room, locker room, coaches’ locker room, players’ lounge and entryway at Williams-Brice Stadium have all received major upgrades. Men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms have been renovated along with the coaches’ offices. Major suite renovations took place at William-Brice following the successful addition of the Champion Club suites. Upon Hyman’s arrival the stadium was dressed up with graphics and recognition of record-holding players. In addition, 2012 has seen the Farmers’ Market converted into a football parking lot and tailgate area for the fans, while a new state-of-the-art video board has been added to enhance the stadium’s atmosphere. Renovations are also underway at the softball and track facilities.

Off the field, South Carolina student-athletes have combined to surpass the 3.0 grade point average plateau for 11 consecutive semesters and are regularly among the leaders in the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Gamecock student-athletes concluded the 2011-12 academic year posting their highest departmental grade point average to date. The GPA for the fall semester (3.202) was the highest ever and the GPA for the spring semester (3.196) was the second highest. In addition, South Carolina’s APR scores have continually improved under Hyman’s watch, with all 19 of the university’s countable sports posting a muti-year score of 950 or better in the latest report.

“The Board of Trustees is pleased with Eric’s many achievements and we believe he served The University of South Carolina well,” Miles Loadholt, USC Board of Trustees chair, said. “Our student athletes are performing well on and off the field. Our facilities have grown and a new Athletics Village is soon to open. He is leaving us with a better athletics program, and we are grateful for his service.”

The Hymans have a daughter and son-in-law, Corrine, a real estate agent, and Michael Quast, a financial analyst. They also have a son and daughter-in-law, Ryan, who is in property and casualty insurance, and Carolyn Hyman, an attorney. They all reside in Fort Worth, Texas. Ryan and Carolyn are expecting Pauline and Eric’s first grandchild in November.

Dr. Pastides has appointed an advisory team to make recommendations on the search process including the appointment of an interim athletic director. This committee will also develop a position description that reflects the new and growing opportunities the position offers. Members are William C. Hubbard ’74, `77, chair of the USC Board of Trustees Intercollegiate Athletics Committee; Dawn Staley, head coach, women’s basketball; Thomas E. “Tommy” Suggs `71, president/CEO, Keenan Suggs Insurance and Carolina broadcaster; I.S. Leevy Johnson ’68, Columbia attorney; and Charles F. Adams, clinical assistant professor at USC. An interim athletic director appointment is expected within a week.