University of South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner is in his ninth year guiding the Gamecocks’ athletics programs. After a long and highly successful career as Carolina’s baseball coach, Tanner officially began his new duties on Aug. 2, 2012.
On April 29, 2019, Tanner was awarded a contract extension by the USC Board of Trustees, keeping him in the athletics director chair until 2024.
In addition to his athletics director duties, Tanner has taken an active role on campus, taking a leadership position with the University’s response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic as well as serving in a formal capacity as a student mentor at South Carolina.
During Tanner’s tenure, revenues and expenses for Gamecock athletics have increased more than 52 percent. While the costs of sustaining a major college athletics department is increasing, Tanner has balanced the ledger while continuing to build first-class facilities, recruiting and maintaining outstanding coaches and student-athletes and giving Gamecock student-athletes a “championship experience.”
Tanner served on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee for four years and was its chair for two seasons.
Tanner gained valuable experience at an international level in his association with USA Baseball. He served five stints with Red, White and Blue, including in 2003 as head coach for the USA National Baseball Team. He was named the U.S. National Coach of the Year for his work that season.
Tanner was named the South Carolina head coach June 14, 1996, after nine successful seasons as head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina State. He will celebrate his 25th year at South Carolina during the 2021-22 academic year.
Tanner has a bachelor’s degree in recreational administration from NC State (1980) and a master’s of public affairs, public administration (1983).
Born Donald Ray Tanner, Jr., March 25, 1958, in Smithfield, NC, Tanner grew up in Benson, NC. He is married to the former Karen Donald, a native of Charleston, SC. The Tanners have two daughters, Bridgette Grace (“Gracie”) and Margaret Pearl (“Maggie”) and one son, Joseph Luke (“Luke).