TUCSON, Ariz. - Head Baseball Coach Ray Tanner of the University of South Carolina has been named National Coach of The Year by "Collegiate Baseball" newspaper.
One of the most respected coaches in college baseball, Tanner led the Gamecocks to their first national championship in baseball at the recent College World Series. After losing the opener, 4-3 to Oklahoma, South Carolina roared back to win its final six games of the tournament and close the season with 11 wins in its final 12 outings and post an overall record of 54-16.
South Carolina's pitching staff put together a 2.15 team ERA in seven games as the staff struck out 57 batters with only 12 walks. Over the final 20 innings of the College World Series (two championship series games with UCLA), South Carolina pitching only gave up two measly runs, one in each game.
The team defense was just as solid with a .979 fielding percentage, the best all eight teams in the field with a 'Series leading seven double plays. On offense, hitters delivered clutch hits game after game during the College World Series.
Tanner, who is in his 14th season at South Carolina and 23rd overall as an NCAA Division I skipper, led the Gamecocks to College World Series berths in 2002, 2003 and 2004 with a runner-up finish in 2002.
Earlier this season, the dean of Southeastern Conference coaches celebrated the 1,000th win of his career with a 2-0 win over Vanderbilt.
Under Tanner's leadership, South Carolina owns the longest current streak of NCAA Regional appearances among the 12 SEC schools with 11 straight trips dating back to the 2000 season. In that span, Carolina has eight NCAA Super Regional appearances (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010).
South Carolina is one of only seven schools in the nation to make at least seven NCAA Super Regionals in the last 10 years and one of only eight institutions in the country to have reached the NCAA Regionals every season in this decade.
Heading into the College World Series, his winning percentage at Carolina was .691, the second highest all-time among SEC coaches. Tanner has coached 26 All-Americans at South Carolina and 44 All-SEC players. Incredibly, his average win total at South Carolina has been 44.6 over 14 years.
Tanner has also been heavily involved in USA Baseball over the years. He has served five stints with the Red, White and Blue, including his latest in 2003 as head coach for the USA National Baseball Team. He led the Americans to a glistening 27-2 record, the best record for a U.S. National Team at the time, and won a silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games.
Previous Collegiate Baseball National Coaches of The Year include:
. 2009: Paul Mainieri, Louisiana St.
. 2008: Mike Batesole, Fresno St.
. 2007: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
. 2006: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
. 2005: Augie Garrido, Texas
. 2004: George Horton, Cal. St. Fullerton
. 2003: Wayne Graham, Rice
. 2002: Augie Garrido, Texas
. 2001: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
. 2000: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
. 1999: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
. 1998: Mike Gillespie, Southern Calif.
Mike Batesole, Cal. St. Northridge
. 1997: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
. 1996: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.,
Andy Lopez, Florida
. 1995: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
. 1994: Larry Cochell, Oklahoma
. 1993: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
. 1992: Andy Lopez, Pepperdine
. 1991: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
. 1990: Steve Webber, Georgia
. 1989: Dave Snow, Long Beach St.
. 1988: Larry Cochell, Cal. St. Fullerton
. 1987: Mark Marquess, Stanford
. 1986: Jerry Kindall, Arizona
. 1985: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
. 1984: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
. 1983: Cliff Gustafson, Texas
. 1982: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
. 1981: Jim Brock, Arizona St.
. 1980: Jerry Kindall, Arizona