Gamecock Success Week: Wrapping Up a Historic Decade
As the second decade of the 21st century comes to a close after this fall, it’s pretty amazing to see just how great the last 10 seasons have been for South Carolina Athletics. From spring 2010 until now, South Carolina has won four team national championships, seven individual national championships, 11 regular season conference championships (team), six conference tournament titles, and 31 individual SEC titles*, while 12 Gamecocks took part in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in track & field, women’s soccer, swimming and diving, and women’s basketball. Eleven of South Carolina’s 21 sports had their best national finish in school history since 2010, and 18 sports had at least one Top 20 national finish this decade.
The overall health of Gamecock Athletics also measured up well in the Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup Standings, which is an aggregate of the success of every sport an athletics program offers. South Carolina has the greatest improvement in the SEC in the final Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup ranking from 2012-15 to 2015-19. For the three years of 2012-15, the Gamecocks finished with an average ranking of 42.67 in the standings. In the last four years (2015-19), South Carolina has had a 25.0 average ranking, finishing 22nd in 2019. South Carolina has finished higher in the standings than Clemson in 21 of 26 years, including 11 in a row.
4 Team National Championships
7 Individual National Championships
11 Regular Season Conference Championships
6 Conference Tournament Championships
Check out the team facts for the last decade of all Gamecock sports. (Note that cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball still have a chance to add to the decade of success this fall.)
- South Carolina earned three College World Series appearances in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and played in the championship series all three years, while winning the National Championship in 2010 and 2011.
- The Gamecocks earned seven trips to the NCAA Tournament this decade, including six Super Regional appearances.
- South Carolina won the SEC Regular Season Championship in 2011
- Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks won four straight SEC Regular Season Championships (2014-2017)
- South Carolina also won four straight SEC Tournament Championships (2015-2018).
- The Gamecocks reached the NCAA Final Four twice (2015, 2017) this decade and won the program’s first National Championship in 2017.
- South Carolina has reached the NCAA Tournament for the last 8 seasons in a row, reaching at least the Sweet 16 seven times.
- The Gamecocks have won 20 or more games eight straight years. Prior to that, the women’s basketball program had only nine 20-win seasons since becoming a varsity sport in 1974-75.
- Former Gamecocks Ilona Burgrova (Czech Republic) and Iva Sliskovic (Croatia) played in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- A’ja Wilson was the consensus National Player of the Year in 2018.
- Frank Martin led the Gamecocks to the program’s first NCAA Final Four in 2017 while earning a program-record 26 wins.
- South Carolina’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2017 was it’s first since 2004, and its first-round win in the tournament was the first since 1973
- The Gamecocks have enjoyed 5 straight non-losing seasons for the first time since 1986-1991.
- South Carolina has posted a winning record in SEC play in three of the last four seasons. Prior to that stretch, the Gamecocks had only had three seasons with a winning SEC record since joining the league.
- In only six seasons as a varsity sport, Coach Moritz Moritz has already established South Carolina as one of the top programs in the country and has posted five straight winning seasons.
- After beach volleyball became a NCAA-sponsored Championship sports in 2016, South Carolina reached the eight-team NCAA Tournament field in 2017 and 2018.
- The Gamecocks posted three 20-win seasons from 2016-2018, including a program-best 24-9 record in 2018. The team has been ranked nationally in coaches top-20 poll for two consecutive seasons, reaching as high as 8th.
- Honored as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for the 18th straight year in 2018
- Finished in the top-20 for team grade point average in 13-straight seasons and posted the top GPA in the country in 2014
- Three athletes named to All-SEC Teams
- Six top-20 finishes at NCAA regional. In 2018 The Gamecocks finished 17th, for their best finish since 2013 (14th)
- Coach Boo Major led South Carolina to the 2015 overall National Championship for the third time in her career.
- The Gamecocks won the SEC Championship in 2013 and 2014 in the first two years that equestrian became a championship sport in the league.
- South Carolina won the Southern Equestrian Championship in 2012, prior to the sport becoming a championship competition in the SEC.
- Coach Will Muschamp has recorded more wins (22) in his first three seasons at South Carolina than any coach in school history.
- In 9 seasons played so far this decade (2010-present) South Carolina has posted more wins (74) than any other decade in program history and currently boasts the best winning percentage in program history for a decade (.632).
- South Carolina has played in bowl games following 8 of 9 seasons so far this decade.
- Jadeveon Clowney became the second Gamecock taken with the first pick in the draft when the Houston Texans selected him to open the 2014 NFL Draft.
- The Gamecocks played in their first SEC Championship game in 2010, and the Gamecocks set program records for wins in a season in with 11 in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
- Having reached the NCAA Tournament for 21 consecutive years, the last 10 years have been extraordinary for Coach Kalen Anderson as the Gamecocks have advanced to the NCAA Championship rounds eight times in the last decade.
- The Gamecocks finished first at the NCAA Regional five times (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017) and had an individual take home medalist honors three times (Katie Burnett 2010, Katelyn Dambaugh 2016, Ana Pelaez 2017)
- Two Gamecocks have won SEC Tournament medalist honors with Katelyn Dambaugh winning in 2017 and Ainhoa Olarra taking the top spot in 2018.
- Coach Bill McDonald continues to keep the Gamecocks among the nationally elite and has guided South Carolina to NCAA Regionals nine times in the last 10 years.
- The Gamecocks have advanced to the NCAA Championship five times this decade (2013-2016, 2019). Carolina had its best finish ever at the NCAA Championship in 2016, T-5th after advancing to Match Play for the first time in program history.
- Gamecock alum Wesley Bryan became the program’s first winner on the PGA TOUR after coming out victorious at the 2017 RBC Heritage. He became the first native South Carolinian to win the tournament, which is annually held the week after The Masters at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, in its 51-year history.
- Matt NeSmith won medalist honors at the 2015 SEC Championship.
- Coach Shelley Smith guided South Carolina to its first College Cup (Final Four) appearance in 2017
- During this decade the Gamecocks have won three SEC Regular Season titles (2011, 2016, 2017)
- South Carolina has earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament in eight of the last nine years and has reached the quarterfinals (Elite Eight) three times.
- Former Gamecock Sabrina D’Angelo was a part of Team Canada’s 2016 Olympic Team which won the bronze medal and is currently on the roster for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- South Carolina earned its ways into the NCAA Tournament four times so far this decade (2010, 2011, 2015, 2016).
- The Gamecocks won the Conference-USA Tournament in 2010.
- South Carolina was co-champions of C-USA in 2011
- Former Gamecock goalkeeper Brad Guzan played for the U.S. in the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and 2014.
- Coach Beverly Smith has led South Carolina to the NCAA Tournament for a program-best seven straight years (2013-2019, including the Super Regional in 2018.
- The Gamecocks were the runner-up at the 2018 SEC Tournament.
- South Carolina has won 20 or more games at home for a program-best six straight years.
- The Gamecocks have enjoyed seven straight winnings seasons, averaging more than 38 wins per year during that stretch.
Swimming and Diving
- The Gamecocks have earned 15 (8 men/7 women) individual SEC Championships this decade.
- A pair of Gamecocks competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio with Akram Mahmoud (Egypt) and Julia Vincent (South Africa).
- Coach McGee Moody is the all-time leader in career wins in program history.
- South Carolina reached the NCAA Tournament every year this decade, including Sweet 16 appearances in 2017 and 2018, as well as the program’s third ever trip to the quarterfinals in 2019 as the Gamecocks finished the spring with a program-best No. 5 final national ranking.
- The Gamecocks claimed their first SEC Tournament Championship in 2019 after upending No. 1 ranked and previously undefeated Georgia in the title match.
- South Carolina’s Mia Horvit and Ingrid Martins finished 2019 ranked No. 1 nationally in doubles and advanced to the semifinals of the national championship tournament, while Coach Kevin Epley was honored as the SEC, Region, and National Coach of the Year.
- Coach Josh Goffi has returned the Gamecocks to national prominence with six NCAA Tournament appearances since 2012, and South Carolina has finished with a Top 30 national ranking five times since 2013, including a No. 19 final ranking in 2019.
- Junior Paul Jubb won the 2019 NCAA Singles National Championship after knocking off the No. 1 ranked player in the nation for the program’s first national title.
- The Gamecocks won 21 matches in 2017 for their first 20-win season since 2005.
- South Carolina has also had at least one Academic All-America selection for 18 straight seasons.
Track & Field (Women)
- With 49 national championships to the men and women’s program’s credit, the Gamecocks have earned 6 more this decade, including four from the women’s team; LaKya Bookins (60m dash, Indoor, 2011), Jeannelle Scheper (high jump, Outdoor, 2015), Stephanie Davis, Aliyah Abrams, Tatyana Mills and Wadeline Jonathas (4×400 relay, Indoor, 2019), and Wadeline Jonathas (400m, Outdoor, 2019).
- Student-athletes from the women’s team have also earned seven SEC Individual Championships this decade in what is recognized as the most competitive conference in the country for track & field.
- Six female Gamecocks competed in the last two Summer Olympic Games. Lashinda Demus (USA) and Natasha Hastings (USA) were in London for the 2012 games, while Hastings (USA), Aliyah Abrams (Guyana), Kierre Beckles (Barbados), and Jeannelle Scheper (St. Lucia) were in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Track & Field (Men)
- The men and women’s program have combined to win 49 national championships, including two this decade from the men’s team: Johnny Dutch (400m, Outdoor, 2010) and Quincy Hall (400m hurdles, Outdoor, 2019).
- Seven Student-athletes from the men’s team have earned SEC Individual Championships this decade, competing against the top track & field conference in the nation.
- Jason Richardson (USA) competed in London for the 2012 Olympic Games.
- First-year head coach Tom Mendoza got the program going in the right direction last fall after posting a 20-10 overall record and earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Gamecocks defeated Colorado in the opening round of the tournament in a five-set thriller to clinch their 20th win.
- The postseason run capped the biggest year-to-year turnaround in the program’s modern era. South Carolina had an eight-win improvement overall, and won seven more SEC matches than in 2017, its biggest season-to-season jump ever.
- Nationally, the Gamecocks went from the 156th-ranked RPI in 2017 and moved all the way up to 35th in the final rankings of 2018.
* swimming and diving, track & field, and golf