COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina hired
Eric Hyman as athletic director on Saturday, bringing the former
Furman assistant football coach and administrator back to his
Palmetto state roots.
The executive committee of the university's board of trustees
approved the hiring as thousands of fans gathered nearby at
Williams-Brice Stadium to watch new South Carolina coach Steve
Spurrier and the Gamecocks at the Garnet and Black spring game.
"The one thing that stands out more than anything else is the
love and the passion and the loyalty that South Carolina fans have
for their school and their athletic program," Hyman said. "This
was an easy decision to come to South Carolina."
Hyman's five-year deal gives him $375,000 a year as a base
salary, plus he could earn up to $75,000 in incentives each year.
He also has a tax-deferred retirement plan and relocation loan that
could net him about $530,000 annually.
"He is a man of enormous integrity," said university President
Andrew Sorensen, who narrowed a list of 40 candidates to six and
ultimately settled on Hyman. "He has an exemplary record."
Hyman has been athletic director at TCU the past eight years,
leading the Horned Frogs to 29 conference titles. Named national
athletic director of the year for 2003-04, Hyman replaces Mike
McGee, who announced he was stepping down June 30 from the job he's
held since 1993. Hyman will start at South Carolina on July 1.
McGee brought national championship coaches Lou Holtz and
Spurrier to the school and oversaw construction of the $65 million
Colonial Center arena, the home for the school's basketball teams
the past three seasons.
Hyman spent 11 years at Furman University as an assistant
football coach and later as an administrator under then-athletic
director Dick Sheridan.
"Eric's obviously a very talented person -- very, very smart.
He's a good leader," Sheridan said. "He's a coach's athletic
Hyman echoed those sentiments. "I coach the department like a
team," he said.
That sounds a lot like McGee, the 1959 Outland Trophy winner as
a Duke offensive lineman who was athletic director at Cincinnati
and Southern Cal when he moved across the country to take over at
Hyman played football at North Carolina and was athletic
director at Virginia Military Institute and Miami of Ohio before
taking the job at TCU.
Both TCU and South Carolina have ongoing NCAA investigations
that each athletic director would like to resolve before departing.
"There is some things at TCU that have taken place with our
men's track program that gave them advantages," Hyman said.
"Based on the behavior of some individuals, there is going to be
some consequences. How that all plays out, I don't know. I've never
gone through anything like this before."
TCU fired its track and field coach Monte Stratton and an
assistant coach resigned as the school investigated allegations of
"serious improprieties" in the program.
At South Carolina, Hyman takes over a program that has generated
excitement in recent years. In addition to the hirings of Holtz and
Spurrier, the Gamecocks have made three straight appearances in the
College World Series and the basketball team recently won the NIT
South Carolina also has plans for 6,000-seat baseball stadium on
school-owned land adjacent the 18,000-seat Colonial Center. There
also are plans for a new athletic facilities near the stadium.
"I've lived here for 11 years and it's good to be back," Hyman
said. "To me, this is going to be a recipe for success."