Inside sources have confirmed that Eric Hyman will be hired as Texas A&M's next athletic director replacing Bill Byrne who retired last month. Earlier in the day, Hyman submitted his resignation to University of South Carolina officials. Also today, the Texas A&M Board of Regents voted to give A&M President Bowen Loftin the authority to negotiate and enter into a contract with the finalist for the athletic director position, presumably Hyman. A formal announcement is expected as soon as Saturday.
The 61 year-old Hyman has developed an outstanding reputation as a leader among his peers. He was named the 2003-04 Street and Smith's Business Journal National Athletics Director of the Year and was also selected as the Division I-A West Regional Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). In September 2008, he assumed the duties as President of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association.
Under Hyman's leadership, the South Carolina Athletics Department made tremendous strides in becoming a nationally prominent Division 1-A athletics program with the goal of competing for championships in all sports, while winning the school's first men's national championship in any sport with the baseball team's College World Series titles in 2010 and 2011. Last season, nine of the school's 20 intercollegiate programs finished in the top 25 of the nation and nearly every athletic team has competed in postseason play since Hyman's arrival. Recently, the football team went to its seventh bowl game, having been eligible for each of the last eight seasons, a modern record for consecutive winning seasons.
His hiring of successful head coaches, like women's basketball coach Dawn Staley, the development of a $200 million master plan of facilities, and the school's first athletics capital campaign took South Carolina athletics to new heights. Hyman has successfully guided the department through a football seat donation initiative, which, along with philanthropic gifts and money guaranteed through the new television agreement, has provided the financial resources to begin bringing the Gamecock facilities up to the standards of their SEC rivals.
Under Hyman's tenure, the Carolina Stadium state-of-the-art baseball facility opened in the spring of 2009, and the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center opened its doors in February 2010. In addition, the athletic training room, recruiting room, locker room and entryway at Williams-Brice Stadium have all recently received major upgrades. The football coaches' offices and entry are currently being renovated, and a players' lounge has also been added. Men's and women's basketball locker rooms have been renovated along with the coaches' offices. Major suite renovations are taking place at William-Brice following the successful addition of the Champion Club suites over the past two years. Upon Hyman's arrival the stadium was dressed up with graphics and recognition of record holding players.
Off the field, South Carolina student-athletes have combined to surpass the 3.0 grade point average plateau for seven consecutive semesters and are regularly among the leaders in the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Last year, a record 15 of 17 athletic teams topped the 3.0 standard, with football, men's basketball and men's soccer all achieving their highest team GPAs on record. South Carolina APR scores have continually improved under Hyman's watch.
Hyman came to South Carolina from TCU, where he served as the athletics director for over seven years. Under his direction, TCU teams recorded 32 conference titles and consistently posted a graduation percentage rate higher than that of the overall student body. Hyman was instrumental in orchestrating TCU's invitation to join Conference USA in July 2001 and spearheading the effort for the Horned Frogs to join the Mountain West Conference in July 2005, moving the program from the Western Athletic Conference it was in when Hyman arrived. During Hyman's tenure, the TCU football team went to six bowl games in seven seasons, boasted a Heisman Trophy candidate in LaDainian Tomlinson and was ranked as high as sixth in the BCS polls; the women's basketball team went to five straight NCAA Tournaments; the baseball team earned back-to-back regional appearances for the first time in school history; and the men's indoor and outdoor track and field and men's tennis teams finished their seasons ranked among the top five in the nation.
As TCU's athletics director, Hyman worked diligently to improve athletic facilities. He helped raise over $30 million in facility improvements and directed a three-phase building plan that completely renovated the athletic department's facilities.
Prior to his stint in Fort Worth, Hyman was the athletics director at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and VMI in Lexington, Va., and Executive Associate Athletics Director at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., and Associate Athletics Director at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. He also coached football at Furman University for nine years under Art Baker and Dick Sheridan.
Hyman earned a master's degree in educational administration from Furman in 1975. He and his wife, Pauline, together coached the women's basketball team at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., leading the team to national rankings in the `70s.
Hyman graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was an all-ACC football player, on the Dean's list and selected for the Hula Bowl.
The Hymans have a daughter and son-in-law, Corrine and Michael Quast, and a son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Carolyn Hyman. Corrine is a realtor; Michael is a financial analyst; Ryan is in the property and casualty insurance business; and Carolyn is a lawyer. They all reside in Fort Worth, Texas.
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