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Legendary Equestrian Head Coach Boo Major Announces Retirement
Equestrian  . 

Legendary Equestrian Head Coach Boo Major Announces Retirement

COLUMBIA, SC – After 26 seasons at the helm of the South Carolina Equestrian program, head coach Boo Major has announced her retirement.

“Boo Major is truly a great Gamecock and exemplifies the spirit of the Garnet and Black,” Athletics Director Ray Tanner said. “She has a passion and love for Carolina, a desire to win in the arena and a commitment to use intercollegiate athletics to develop young women into champions.  I congratulate Coach Major on a fantastic career and wish her the best in retirement.”

Over the course of her career, Major has coached over 300 letter winners, 30 riders named National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) All-Americans a combined 53 times, 30 SEC All-Team selections, five SEC Rider of the Years, and an NCEA Rider of the Year in 2020 (Caroline Gute).

During her tenure, Major led South Carolina to three NCEA Overall Championships (2005, 2007, 2015), three consecutive NCEA Hunter Seat National Championships (2005, 2006, 2007), one Southern Equestrian Championship (2012), and two SEC Championships (2013,2014). She is a two-time SEC Coach of the Year winner and was named National Coach of the Year by the NCEA in 2014 and 2015.

On March 29, 2014, Major became the first University of South Carolina head coach to win back-to-back SEC Championships and became the first USC coach to win three national championships just a year later in 2015. In 2014, Major was recognized by the University of South Carolina’s College of Mass Communications and Information Sciences as one of its two Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Major also guided the career of Kristen Terebesi who in 2008 became the first and only rider in NCEA history to win two individual National Championships (Flat and Fences) in a single season. At the 2010 NCEA National Championship, Major coached Kimberly McCormack who was named the Hunt Seat MVP as a freshman, the highest individual honor that season.

With the NCAA recognizing equestrian as an emerging varsity sport, Major has had the opportunity to promote the sport at South Carolina, to other universities and colleges, the horse industry, the community at large, and on the national level. The University of South Carolina was the first major Division I school in the nation to declare equestrian as a varsity sport.

A Columbia, S.C. native, Major is a 1981 graduate of South Carolina and received her Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 1990. Major is also a Technical Delegate and “r” Eventing Judge with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). She is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), USEF, United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), United States Eventing Association, and the South Carolina Coaches Association.

“I have mixed emotions about retiring,” Major said. “On one hand I’m excited to do some things I have put off for 26 years.  On the other hand, I am sad to be stepping back from a job that taught me so much about myself and others.  I will miss the student-athletes the most and watching them develop during their time in college.  It has been so rewarding.  I hope to continue to help the equestrian program through fundraising and any ‘behind the scenes’ they’ll let me do.  I am so appreciative of our wonderful staff (past and present) who have done amazing things over the years.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this program.  It will be bright!  As always, thanks to  Ray Tanner, Eric Hyman and Mike McGee for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  What a ride!”