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Tanner Bronson

Tanner Bronson

Tanner Bronson was named assistant coach on Lamont Paris’ new staff at South Carolina on Friday, April 8, 2022. He enters his third season at South Carolina in 2024-25. Bronson served in the same capacity on Paris’ staff at Chattanooga for five seasons (2017-22).

In year two (2023-24) at South Carolina, Bronson was part of a staff that helped orchestrate the greatest single-season turnaround in program history. The Gamecocks went 26-8 and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017. The 26 victories tied the 2016-17 Final Four team for the most single-season wins in program history. Carolina’s 15-win improvement was tied for the second-best mark in the nation. The team’s 25 regular season wins were a new program record. The Gamecocks went 13-5 in SEC play, good for a T-2nd finish in the league. The 13 SEC wins tied the 1997 SEC title team for the most SEC wins in program history (Carolina joined the league in 1991-92).

The Gamecocks won seven SEC games on the road in 2023-24, tying the 1996-97 team for the most SEC victories away from home in a single season. Carolina finished the year with a 12-5 record in true road and neutral site games. The Gamecocks were one of just 18 teams in the country with multiple top-10 wins and one of five teams in the nation with a top-five true road win. Carolina had a seven-game SEC win streak, which included beating No. 6/6 Kentucky 79-62 at home on Jan. 23 and No. 5/5 Tennessee, 63-59, in Knoxville on Jan. 30. Per Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time the Gamecocks had defeated a pair of top-10 teams in a three-game stretch since 1968. Carolina’s win over the Vols was the team’s first AP Top-Five road victory since defeating No. 3 Kentucky, 72-66, on March 2, 1997. The Gamecocks returned to the top-25 for the first time since 2017 back in Week 14 on Feb. 5 and remained there the last seven weeks of the season. The team finished the year ranked No. 23 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the final AP Top-25, marking the first time Carolina was ranked in the final AP poll since 1998. The Gamecocks were ranked as high as No. 11 in both major polls.

Carolina allowed just 66.4 points per game during the regular season in 2023-24, which led the SEC. The Gamecocks held 25 opponents below 70 points, which T-7th best mark in the nation. Carolina was one of just four teams in the SEC to rank in the top-50 of adjusted efficiency on offense and defense via KenPom.

The team welcomed nine newcomers, including four key transfer additions in 2023-24. Guards Ta’Lon Cooper and Meechie Johnson were named Second Team All-SEC, marking the first time the Gamecocks had multiple All-SEC selections since 2009. Cooper averaged 4.2 assists per game and finished 8th in the country in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.51:1). He shot a career-best 45.9 percent from 3-point territory. Johnson led the team in scoring, averaging a career-best 14.1 points per game. He scored 20 or more points on 10 occasions, a career-best mark. Forward Collin Murray-Boyles was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 10.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. He led the team to its first victory in the SEC Tournament since 2018 with 24 points, seven rebounds and four steals in a 80-66 win over Arkansas.

In season one at South Carolina in 2022-23, the team had an overhauled roster with eight new players, including just 14.9 percent of the team’s scoring and 18.4 percent of the minutes played returning from the year prior. The Gamecocks defeated Clemson at home, 60-58, for the first time since Dec. 19, 2014. The conference slate was highlighted by road wins at Kentucky, at Ole Miss and at LSU. The Gamecocks wire-to-wire victory at Rupp Arena on Jan. 10 was the team’s first there since 2009 and just the program’s third all-time win in Lexington since joining the SEC (1992). Carolina nearly knocked off SEC Champion and No. 2/2 Alabama at home but fell in overtime, 78-76, thanks to a late bucket from SEC Player of the Year Brandon Miller.

Several players had their most productive seasons to date under the new staff in year one in Columbia. Sophomore Jacobi Wright averaged 7.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He had a career-best six games in double figures in SEC play. Josh Gray led the team in rebounding, averaging 6.3 per game and 7.9 rebounds per contest in league action. He had a career-best eight games with 10 or more rebounds, seven of which came in SEC action. Gray also had the best game of his career with 20 points and 14 rebounds vs. Arkansas. Johnson averaged 12.7 points (second on team) and 3.6 assists per contest (eighth in the SEC). He led the team with 70 makes from behind the arc and was one of just eight players in the SEC to make 70 or more 3s.

The staff made early in-roads recruiting over the summer in 2022 with local product Gregory “GG” Jackson II reclassifying and enrolling early. The consensus top player in the 2023 class, Jackson was the highest rated signee in program history (recruit rankings started in early 2000s) and joined PJ Dozier (2015-17) as the only five-star Gamecock freshmen. Jackson would go on to earn All-SEC Freshman honors while leading the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He had 11 20-point games, the most by a Carolina freshman since joining the SEC in 1991-92. Jackson would go on to be selected 45th overall by the Memphis Grizzles in the 2023 NBA Draft. He became the first NBA Draft pick for the program since All-American Sindarius Thornwell in 2017.

In his first season, Jackson appeared in 48 games for Memphis, averaging 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from 3. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team, becoming the fourth Gamecock and first since Brian Winters in 1975 to be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team.

“Tanner has been with me since day one of my head coaching career,” said Paris. “He’s extremely talented as a teacher as well as an evaluator and a recruiter. His impact on building a championship team and culture was incredibly significant.”

A native of Glendale, Wisc., Bronson got his start in college basketball as a student manager at Wisconsin in 2004. He then joined the team as a walk-on and would eventually earn a scholarship playing for legendary coach Bo Ryan. While playing for the Badgers, Bronson was a part of four NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight in 2005 and a Sweet Sixteen in 2008. Wisconsin won 30 or more games twice during his playing career in Madison.

He moved quickly into the coaching ranks and served as an assistant for the Sioux Falls Skyforce (G-League) from 2009-11. Bronson then moved on as a graduate manager at Saint Louis from 2011-12 where he would eventually be named an assistant coach, a position he would hold from 2012-16. During his time with the Billikens, the team won 103 games in his five seasons with three NCAA Tournament appearances, winning a game each time. Saint Louis also won a pair of A-10 Regular Season Championships and one tournament title. The team won 20 or more games every season he was there. He went to serve as a program assistant at UNLV for one season in 2016-17.

Bronson then would reunite in Chattanooga with Paris on his first staff in 2017. Helping build the program from the bottom up, he helped lead the Mocs to an 87-72 overall record (.547), including a 65-29 mark the last three seasons. This past season, Chattanooga won its first Southern Conference title and made its first NCAA berth since 2016. The Mocs finished the season with a 27-8 mark. The team’s NCAA NET ranking improved in each of Bronson’s five seasons at Chattanooga, finishing with a 63 ranking this year.

“I am extremely grateful to be joining Lamont Paris at the University of South Carolina,” said Bronson. “I want to thank Athletics Director Ray Tanner for his belief in coach Paris’ ability to build a winning program here in Columbia. This incredible institution along with Coach Paris’ vision is why I’m so excited to be a part of the Gamecock family.”

Bronson and his wife Jen, married in 2015, have three sons, twins Max and Otto, and Henry.