COLUMBIA, S.C. — Athletics director Ray Tanner wants to keep the future of South Carolina basketball as bright as the present.
With that in mind, Tanner and university officials are in the midst of reworking the contracts for the head coaches of the men’s and women’s programs. However, Tanner was uncertain if the new deals would be finished in time for Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.
“Today is Tuesday. I will tell you that there are some conversations ongoing. Whether it ends up being on Friday or not is still to be determined,” Tanner said. “Is it a possibility? It is a possibility, but not a definite.”
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Staley’s women are riding high from a national championship win over SEC rival Mississippi State. Martin and the men are fresh off the program’s first Final Four appearance.
News of potential contract extensions for the basketball coaches was first reported by The State.
Martin received a 6-year contract extension after the 2015-16 season, which locked him up through the 2021-22 season. He made $2.45 million this past season and earned more than $200,000 in bonuses.
Staley received an extension after the 2015 Final Four run, which paid her more than $1 million this past season.
Tanner beamed from ear to ear as he recounted the success both coaches enjoyed this past season.
“It’s very difficult to put into words what it means when you talk about the excitement, the energy, enthusiasm, the passion — you talk about your brand. You talk about moral,” Tanner said. “What we’ve been able to experience from Coach Martin’s team and Coach Staley’s team has been engulfed, not by just our fan base, but by people in the state of South Carolina, by who they are, not just as basketball coaches winning at a high level, but who they are as people.
“Coach Martin, Coach Staley, their platforms, personally, are as good as it gets. We’re very fortunate to have both of them coaching our teams.”
Given his resume, which includes back-to-back national championships as the Gamecocks baseball coach in 2010 and 2011, Tanner knows the importance of locking up successful coaches.
“You want your teams to win at a high level, do it the right way and have right people in place,” he said. “That, to me, is very, very special in what we’ve been able to enjoy from our student-athletes and the 2 coaches we have in men’s and women’s basketball.”