Following through with what has been rumored throughout the day Friday, South Carolina has officially confirmed that athletic director Eric Hyman has resigned and will take over the AD job at Texas A&M. South Carolina president Harris Pastides showed no hard feelings toward Hyman.
RT @DarrylSlater: USC makes it official: AD Eric Hyman resigns to take the Texas A&M job. "We wish Eric well in his next endeavor,"...
Hyman is very familiar with the state of Texas. He has plenty of family in the Fort Worth area having spent 13 years of his career heading TCU's athletic department. He leaves a positive legacy at South Carolina in his wake, notably upgrading several athletic facilities.
When the SEC paired up South Carolina and new guys Texas A&M as an annual, cross-division rivalry, we didn't really have much history to go on between the two. That's changed now, as the Aggies are reportedly ready to announce South Carolina's Eric Hyman as their new AD, replacing the retired Bill Byrne.
So why make what would appear to some to be a lateral move? For one thing, much of Hyman's family lives in Fort Worth after his long tenure at TCU before his time in Columbia. Also, SEC blog Team Speed Kills has a whole lot of analysis on Hyman's Gamecocks legacy and where Carolina goes from here:
His legacy as South Carolina is largely, though not exclusively, positive. He hired Darrin Horn to coach the men's basketball team -- a mistake that cost the team several years before Hyman corrected things by hiring Frank Martin. The hiring of Dawn Staley for women's basketball has been a clear-cut success; she took the program to the Sweet Sixteen last season as part of a steady upward trajectory.
Hyman has also overseen a significant boost to the facilities in Columbia. But he's arguably had marginal impact on the two programs that will define his tenure: Steve Spurrier and baseball head coach Ray Tanner were already on campus when Hyman arrived. The facilities improvements have helped both, no doubt, but Hyman will leave Columbia having never hired a coach for either of the campus' two highest-profile programs.
Which perhaps magnifies the importance of the next athletics director for South Carolina. Steve Spurrier is not going to be around forever -- five years is probably the longest South Carolina fans can expect, with three or four being more likely. It is a near-certainty that the next athletics director will select the head coach who will either solidify the gains Spurrier has made or potentially lead the program right back where it was.
Texas A&M has been without a new athletic director for more than a month now, with Bill Byrne retiring early in May. Since then, Houston's Mack Rhoades and Georgia Tech's Dan Radakovich have been rumored targets, but each is staying put. Now South Carolina's Eric Hyman is reportedly the leader, with Chip Brown reporting some specifics:
Look for Texas A&M to name South Carolina's Eric Hyman as its new AD after the July 4th holiday.
Mack Rhoades is probably one of the most appealing candidates when considering who will succeed Bill Byrne as athletic director at Texas A&M. Just one problem: he may or may not actually be available.
Rhoades signed a five-year contract extension with the University of Houston in January. Although the deal isn't public, sources told the Houston Chronicle that it is worth up to $500,000 per year, plus incentives. Texas A&M will have to convince Rhoades that a move would benefit him both monetarily and in terms of the fact that Rhoades has had success at Houston and may not be willing to move on to the well-established now-SEC school.
Rhoades is a candidate to replace Byrne, but said in a statement that he has not looked into leaving his current job for any other position at another school.
The Houston side remains cautious about Rhoades making the hour-and-a-half drive to the northwest, but Sam Khan Jr. points out the excellent job the AD has done, from facilities to conference realignment to football success, and finds Rhoades to be an obviously desirable potential candidate. And he'd pair up with Sumlin again after hiring Tony Levine as UH's replacement.
Rhoades has been at Houston for three years, leading the Akron Zips previously. He also spent seven years with the UTEP Miners as an assistant. He also has Marquette and Yale athletic department experience, and Yale is pretty much the SEC these days, am I right? No.