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Ray Tanner Biography

University of South Carolina Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner was born in Smithfield, NC on March 25, 1958. He starred at shortstop throughout his South Johnson High School career and then played third base for famed coach Sam Esposito at North Carolina State University from 1977-1980. Following his college career, Tanner was hired as an assistant coach at his alma mater and remained in that post from 1980-1987.

Following the 1987 season, Tanner was promoted to the head coaching position at his alma mater. He held that position from 1987-1996 and was one of the most successful coaches in NCSU history over his nine year tenure. In nine seasons, Tanner led his teams to the NCAA regional round seven times and reached the 45 win threshold seven times. As a result, Tanner turned the NCSU program into one of the best in the nation and accumulated an impressive 395-173 record.

Tanner’s success attracted the attention of a number of top programs and perennial contender South Carolina hired him as head coach in 1996. Over fourteen seasons, Tanner has compiled a 634-282 record and attended the NCAA tournament thirteen times. Tanner has also received a number of personal accolades; including crossing the 1000 wins plateau and winning the National Coach of the Year Award in 2000 and 2010. Moreover, he has also had sustained postseason success as the Gamecocks have reached at least the NCAA Super Regional in eight years, attended the World Series as the runners up in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and won the College World Series in 2010. Tanner is poised to push the Gamecocks to maintain this success into the next decade and the future looks bright.

Check out our current preview of South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball. You can also read more about the Best All-Time SEC Baseball Coaches.

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