Columbia, SC (WLTX) --- When Ray Tanner is introduced Friday as USC's new athletics director, it will signal the end of one era and the beginning of another one.
The sight of Tanner in the dugout wearing his garnet uniform has been a 16-year visual. But after three straight trips to Omaha, which includes back-to-back national titles in 2010 and 2011, Tanner is taking on the challenge of running an entire athletics department.
When he was the head baseball coach at N.C. State, Tanner served as an assistant athletics director. So this goal of working in administration has been a long-term goal of Tanner's.
Any college head coach will be forced at some point to make tough decisions. At the Division I level, those decisions are magnified and as the CEO of the athletics department, many of those tough decisions are on public display.
Former Spring Valley and Gamecock standout Trey Dyson says Tanner is more than capable of handling that kind of pressure.
There's no question Tanner is a popular figure among the Gamecock fan base and you could make the case he is the school's best ambassador. Dyson says Tanner's popularity may be tested at certain times, but overall, he expects the fans as a whole will support Tanner's decisions - based on the coach's track record with the University.