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Gamecock Success Week: Another Great Year to be a Gamecock
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Gamecock Success Week: Another Great Year to be a Gamecock

by Brad Muller, Director of Content

Before South Carolina’s athletics teams kick off another exciting year of competition, it’s time to take a final peek in the rearview mirror at some of the best accomplishments in what was another successful year for the Garnet and Black as we celebrate Gamecock Success Week. The 2018-2019 athletics season saw South Carolina student-athletes earn SEC and national championships, numerous records fell, and a large number of programs advanced to the postseason.

“I am so proud of our student-athletes’ accomplishments, and the coaches and staff who help them succeed,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner.  “Our fourth highest-ever finish in the Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup and fourth-straight Palmetto Series win is indicative of the commitment, dedication, and effort of our student-athletes, coaches and staff.   In every sport and in every phase in our athletics department at South Carolina, the goal is excellence and the pursuit of the goal is reflected in these achievements.” 

71 All-Conference selections
3 SEC Scholar Athletes of the Year
2 No. 1 recruiting classes signed

Quincy  Hall

  Here are some of the highlights from the last year:

  • 4 National Titles! They may have happened late in the year, but they deserve to be early on the list as South Carolina won four individual national championships last spring. Sophomore Stephanie Davis, redshirt junior Aliyah Abrams, senior Tatyana Mills and junior Wadeline Jonathas won the women’s 4x400m national championship at 2019 Track & Field NCAA Indoor Championships. A few months later, Jonathas won the national title in the 400m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while junior Quincy Hall won the national championship in the 400m hurdles.
    Not to be outdone, Paul Jubb from men’s tennis won the NCAA National Championship in singles for the program’s first ever national title, and he did it by knocking off the nation’s number one player, who had defeated him twice earlier in the year. Prior to that, Coach Josh Goffi’s men’s team reached the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year before falling to No. 5 Virginia in the second round and finishing with an 18-10 record. Not bad for a team that had only two upperclassmen and seven freshmen.
  • Top 25 Finish for Gamecock Athletics. The overall health of the athletics department also measured up well as South Carolina finished 22nd in the Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup Standings, which is an aggregate of the success of every sport an athletics program offers. That’s the fourth best finish for South Carolina in the 26-year history of the Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup. It’s the fifth time the Gamecocks have finished in the top 25 and second time in last three years after finishing 21st in 2016-2017.
  • 4 in a row! South Carolina won the Certified SC Grown Palmetto Series for the fourth consecutive year in its head-to-head all-sports matchup against rival Clemson with a final tally of 9.5 to 4.5.
  • The Best of the Best. South Carolina student-athletes earned 56 All-American nods this year and 71 all-conference honors. Additionally, the Gamecocks had two academic All-Americans and three SEC Scholar Athletes of the Year for their respective sports.


  • Record Season for Women’s Tennis. Coach Kevin Epley’s women’s team won the program’s first ever SEC Tournament Championship after knocking off No. 1 ranked and previously undefeated Georgia in the title match. In doing so, South Carolina became only the fifth SEC program to win that title while beating the previous three winners in succession along the way. The Gamecocks advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third time and finished the year ranked No. 5 nationally with a 23-4 overall record, and 12-1 mark in SEC play.
    Epley was named SEC, Region, and National Coach of the Year, while seniors Ingrid Martins and Paige Cline, along with junior Mia Horvit earned All-America honors. Martins and Horvit were semifinalists at the 2019 NCAA Doubles Championships and were ranked No. 1 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s end-of-year doubles poll, with Martins also taking home National Senior Player of the Year honors. South Carolina also signed the top recruiting class for next year.
  • On the Right Path. Last fall, Gamecock football overcame more than its fair share of injuries to post a 7-5 regular season record. Head coach Will Muschamp became the first South Carolina head football coach to take the team to bowl games in each of his first three seasons and has recorded more wins than any coach in program history during that same period. Despite a disappointing bowl loss to Virginia, there is a lot of optimism about the re-building of the program and another top 20 recruiting class coming in.
  • Volleyball Makes Noise! First year head coach Tom Mendoza guided the Gamecocks to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 years. South Carolina posted a 20-10 overall record and 10-8 mark in SEC play. Both were the highest marks since 2008. The Gamecocks advanced to the second round of the national tournament before falling to No. 2 Minnesota. Junior Mikayla Shields earned Honorable Mention All-America honors, making her the first student-athlete in the program’s 46-year history to be recognized nationally twice in a career.
  • Women’s Soccer Still Among National Elite. Shelley Smith’s women’s soccer team followed up its first trip to the College Cup with another successful season last fall. The Gamecocks were ranked in the top 20 nationally all season, finishing at No. 17 after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and posting a 14-6-1 overall record. South Carolina reached the post-season for a program-record sixth year in a row. Junior Grace Fisk earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight year and was a Second Team All-America selection.
  • Hoops Teams Rally After Slow Start. On the hardwood, South Carolina’s basketball teams overcame some early struggles to find success in SEC play. Coach Dawn Staley’s women’s team went 23-10 overall, finished second in the SEC with 13-3 record, and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year. It was also the sixth straight year that the Gamecocks finished in the top two in the SEC standings. There was still plenty of excitement when the season ended as the Gamecocks signed the top ranked recruiting class in the nation for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.
    On the men’s side, coach Frank Martin’s squad rebounded from some tough losses in the non-conference portion of the schedule to finish fourth in SEC play with an 11-7 record, after going 16-16 overall. It was the third time in the last four years that the Gamecocks posted a winning record in SEC play.
    Fynn  Minuth

  • Life in the Fast Lane.  The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams went to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA Championships, and senior Fynn Minuth, junior Itay Goldfaden and freshman Anton Down-Jenkins took home All-America honors on the men’s side, while senior Emma Barksdale, junior Albury Higgs, and senior Marissa Roth earned All-American laurels for the women’s team.
  • Aces on the Links.  Both of South Carolina’s golf teams reached the NCAA Tournament once again. Coach Bill McDonald brought his men’s program back to the postseason for the 12th time in 13 seasons. A short par putt by senior Scott Stevens helped the Gamecocks earn a dramatic sudden-death playoff victory at the NCAA Pullman Regional to secure the final spot in the NCAA Championship for the seventh time under McDonald. South Carolina finished the year ranked 17th nationally.
    Coach Kalen Anderson brought the women’s golf team to the NCAA Regional Tournament for the 10 time in her career and 21st year in a row overall. The Gamecocks were the runners-up at the SEC Championship after falling in four play-off holes in the title match. Junior Lois Kaye Go and freshman Emily Price earned Honorable Mention All-Americans by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. Price was also named the SEC Freshman of the Year, and Go was SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year.
  • Another Top 25 Season for Softball. Coach Beverly Smith brought the Gamecocks to the NCAA tournament for a school-record seventh consecutive year before falling to defending national champion Florida State in the regional final. South Carolina posted 38-19 overall record and was ranked in the top 25 nationally in both major polls at the end of the year. Smith earned her 300th win this spring, and the Gamecocks set a program single season record with 77 home runs.
  • Not Horsing Around. South Carolina equestrian returned to the NCEA Championships and had its Horsemanship and Reining teams advance to the semifinals, while the equitation on the flat riders made it to the championship round. The Gamecocks enjoyed three wins over top ten teams in 2019, and junior Madison Sellman was named the SEC Equestrian Scholar Athlete of the Year!