Last Tuesday, Kansas State's Frank Martin was announced as the next basketball coach at South Carolina. At the same time, Eric Hyman cemented his legacy as the greatest Athletics Director in South Carolina history and one of the best in the nation.
Through his tenure, Hyman has managed to recruit or keep the best set of coaches in the university's history. Ray Tanner was already here when Hyman took over, but Hyman presided over the new stadium and did what he needed to keep one of the elite national coaches in Columbia. Similarly, Hyman didn't bring Steve Spurrier to USC, but he did complete the projects Coach Spurrier needed and wanted and has managed to hang on to him far longer than most thought would be possible.
Hyman does deserve the credit for bringing Dawn Staley and keeping her when higher profile jobs were looking around. That hire has paid off in the form of greater visibility for a sport that was all but invisible on campus before Staley's arrival, and a sweet sixteen appearance this year speaks for itself. Then this week Frank Martin was added. Many believed and have stated that perhaps South Carolina isn't as good a basketball job as Kansas State. Maybe, maybe not, but Eric Hyman convinced Martin that it can be, and even if there was some fortuitous timing involved, the credit still belongs to EH.
The coaching hires are the high profile job the AD does, but think of these other things Hyman has done. The YES program has skyrocketed revenue and allowed USC to compete in the best conference in the country. Do you remember any university difficulties with the city under Hyman's watch? What about before? How stable does this athletic department feel? The successes thus far and many of those to come are a direct result of Hyman, which is why he is one of the best at his job in the nation.
Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.