After leading the University of South Carolina baseball team to its second consecutive national championship on Tuesday, Gamecocks’ head coach Ray Tanner went “back-to-back” himself.
The 53-year-old Smithfield, N.C. native was named “Coach of the Year” by Collegiate Baseball newspaper for the second year in a row.
With Tanner at the helm, USC not only repeated as College World Series champs – the Gamecocks set a CWS record by winning eleven straight games in Omaha. Last season, USC reeled off six wins in a row to capture its first national title. This year, they won five straight to claim a second crown.
Only five other schools in CWS history have won championships in back-to-back seasons.
Tanner has compiled a 689-296 (.699) record in fifteen seasons at USC. In addition to the school’s first two national titles (in any sport), that mark includes five College World Series appearances and twelve straight NCAA postseason berths. Prior to coming to Columbia, S.C., Tanner posted a 395-173-3 record in nine seasons at N.C. State – where he spent four years as a player.
More honors could be coming for the Gamecocks’ head coach. Several S.C. lawmakers want the University to consider naming its new baseball stadium “Ray Tanner Field.”
Based on his recent accomplishments, we’d say that’s a no-brainer …