South Carolina made it official Friday, rewarding baseball coach Ray Tanner with a two-year contract extension that will raise his salary a minimum of $109,815 annually. The USC board of trustees approved the deal unanimously four months after Tanner brought the university its first national championship in a men’s sport.
“This is a reflection of a job extremely well done, culminating with what took place in Omaha,” athletics director Eric Hyman said after the deal was approved. “This was consummated some time ago. It was just a matter of the board being able to address it.”
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Tanner’s guaranteed compensation — which includes a base salary from the school, compensation from the school’s media-rights holder and supplemental compensation, such as that earned from equipment providers — was increased to $510,000 from $400,195 annually. Tanner also can earn up to $255,000 in bonuses each year, an increase of $110,000. Incentives were added for reaching certain academic benchmarks and for earning a host site for an NCAA regional or Super Regional, while others were increased.
“I am honored and humbled by the commitment from president (Harris) Pastides, athletics director Eric Hyman and the board of trustees,” Tanner said in a statement released by the school. “I am very fortunate to have a great coaching staff, outstanding student-athletes and one of the best facilities in all of college baseball with the most loyal fans. The University of South Carolina is a very special place to my family and I. We are looking forward to future success in years to come.”
Tanner’s contract now runs through 2015.
“Winning the national championship is something in our business that is extremely special, but it is how he goes about doing it,” Hyman said. “I am so proud with how he represents the university, how he represents the state.”
The deal does not include a buyout for Tanner, who could walk away at any point with no financial penalty.
“I think Ray has certainly earned that for the job he has done,” Hyman said. “He has the flexibility to end it at South Carolina when he wants to end it.”
Hyman does not expect that to be anytime soon, he said. “I think his roots are so deep in the state.”
Tanner, 52, has made 12 NCAA tournament appearances and four trips to the College World Series. He is 634-282 in 14 seasons at South Carolina and 1,029-455 in 23 seasons as a head coach.
The Gamecocks were 54-16 last season and won six consecutive games in Omaha, Neb., to capture the national championship. Tanner was named national coach of the year by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
The board of trustees approved a restructuring of the buyout clause in the contract of men’s basketball coach Darrin Horn. Horn will owe the school $800,000 if he terminates the deal between now and March 31, 2011; $600,000 if he terminates it between March 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012, and $500,000 if he terminates it after that. Hyman said the only area seriously considered for the site of ESPN’s “College GameDay” other than the Horseshoe was the area near the school’s fraternity and sorority houses. The board voted Friday to move forward with development of the former Farmer’s Market site adjacent to Williams-Brice Stadium. Hyman said the area could include new practice fields, intramural fields and retail space in addition to parking. “There will be some tweaks,” he said.