|File:Ray Tanner USC.jpg|
March 25, 1958|
Smithfield, North Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
1992 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
2000 Southeastern Conference
2002 Southeastern Conference
2004 Southeastern Conference Tournament
2010 NCAA Championship
2011 Southeastern Conference
2011 NCAA Championship
1990 ACC Coach of the Year
1998 SEC Coach of the Year
2000 SEC Coach of the Year
2000 National Coach of the Year
2010 National Coach of the Year
2011 SEC Coach of the Year
2011 National Coach of the Year
Ray Tanner (born March 25, 1958) is the Athletic Director at the University of South Carolina, a position he took on July 13, 2012 after spending 16 successful seasons as head coach of the University's baseball program. His record since arriving at Carolina in 1997 is 738-316 (.700). He led USC to three consecutive College World Series appearances in 2002, 2003 and 2004, three consecutive College World Series appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2012, two College World Series Championships in 2010 and 2011, and coached the USA Baseball National Team during the 2003 summer. His South Carolina teams have qualified for thirteen consecutive NCAA postseasons (the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference (SEC)). On April 11, 2010, Tanner recorded the 1,000th win of his career with a 2-0 victory over Vanderbilt, becoming the 44th Division I coach in history to reach the milestone.
After graduating from South Johnston High School near his home at Benson, North Carolina, Ray Tanner attended North Carolina State University, in Raleigh from 1977 to 1980. He played for Sam Esposito, starting four seasons at shortstop and third base.
Tanner became an assistant coach to NCSU coach Sam Esposito immediately after his playing days were over. He remained in that position from 1980–1987, when Esposito retired and Tanner was named his successor. At age 28, he was one of the youngest head coaches in the country. During his first season the Wolfpack reached the NCAA tournament, playing in the East Regional. His teams earned bids to the NCAA tournament during seven of his nine seasons as head coach at NCSU, including five straight from 1990-1994. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1990.
His nine year record at NC State was 395-173-3.
Tanner arrived at South Carolina prior to the start of the 1997 season. Tanner guided the Gamecocks to a 33–24 record in his first season in 1997 and finished fourth in the competitive SEC. The Gamecocks were greatly improved in 1998 and finished with 44 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. In 1999, Tanner led the Gamecocks to the SEC East Division title for the school's first division crown. Starting in 2000, Tanner help guide Carolina to one of the most successful stretches in program history. The Gamecocks made the College World Series in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The 2002 team finished runner-up after losing to the Texas Longhorns in the championship game. The South Carolina baseball team has made the NCAA tournament every year since 2000, and they currently have the longest streak of NCAA tournament appearances in the Southeastern Conference. The 2010 South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team won the College World Series championship after taking the series 2-0 over the UCLA Bruins. The championship was the first men's NCAA championship in school history. The 2011 South Carolina Gamecocks baseball team completed the season 55-14 and won the program's second national title after sweeping the championship series against the Florida Gators 2-0. This marked the first time that a team repeated as national champion since 2006-2007. On the way to the second championship, the Gamecocks went 10-0 in the NCAA tournament and set new records by winning 16 straight NCAA tournament games and 11 straight College World Series games. Both streaks were started in the 2010 season.
In his 16 seasons, through 2012, Tanner has posted a 738–316 overall record with six College World Series appearances. Under Tanner, the Gamecocks have made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, advanced to the Super Regionals ten times, and have posted fourteen 40-win and five 50-win seasons. Tanner led the Gamecocks to the 2010 and 2011 NCAA College World Series Championship. In addition, South Carolina won the 2000, 2002 and 2011 SEC regular season championships and the 2004 SEC Tournament championship. The Gamecocks have also claimed six Southeastern Conference Eastern Division titles (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012) with Tanner as head coach. He has been named SEC Coach of the Year in 1998, 2000, and 2011. Tanner was also named National Coach of the Year in 2000 after the Gamecocks finished the season with a 56–10 record, in 2010 after the team finished 54–16, and in 2011 after a 55-14 campaign.
On July 13, 2012, Tanner was named Director of Athletics at South Carolina.
Ray Tanner has a longstanding commitment to USA Baseball. He served as an assistant coach in 1993 and again in 1995 and 1996, coaching at the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. During these stints he coached together with college baseball legends such as Skip Bertman and Ron Polk. During the summer of 2002, Tanner served as the head coach of the USA Baseball National Team, composed of some of the top college players. The team went undefeated during the regular season, including a sweep of its biggest rival, Japan. The only two losses came at the Pan American Games to Nicaragua and Cuba. The team finished the tournament as the runner-up. The win total of 27 is the highest in team history.
Tanner grew up in Benson, North Carolina. He received a bachelor of science degree in recreational administration from NC State in 1980 and is married to the former Karen Donald, a native of Charleston, South Carolina. The couple has three children. On November 10, 2010, Tanner was initiated into the Chi Omega chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at South Carolina. According to the University of South Carolina's website, "Coach Tanner's involvement with Kappa Sigma comes from the chapter's commitment to the Ray Tanner Foundation, which is dedicated to bettering the lives of economically and medically disadvantaged children."
Head coaching record
- Career Record of 1133-489-3 (.699)
- 8th among active coaches by winning percentage
- 4th fastest active coach to reach 1000 wins
- Top 40 among active coaches by victories
- 25th all-time by winning percentage
- National Coach of the Year in 2000, 2010 and 2011
- 21 NCAA Tournament Appearances
- 10 Super Regional appearances, including 5 consecutive from 2000–2004
- 6 College World Series appearances, including 3 consecutive from 2002–2004 and 2010-2012
- 2002, 2012 CWS Runner-up
- 2010, 2011 CWS National Championship
- 2000, 2002 & 2011 SEC Championships
- 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011 & 2012 SEC East Championships
- 1992 ACC Tournament Title
- 2004 SEC Tournament Title
- Five 50-win seasons
- Winningest college baseball coach from 2000–2004 by victories
- Winningest college baseball coach in the SEC from 2000-2012 by victories (287-190)
- Second winningest college baseball coach in SEC history by winning percentage, trailing only Skip Bertman of LSU
- Eight first round draft picks at South Carolina