COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin announced today that veteran athletics administrator Eric Hyman will lead Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference as the university's new director of athletics. Hyman comes to Texas A&M after serving as athletics director at the University of South Carolina since July 2005.
"Eric is uniquely qualified to lead us at this important juncture in the history of Texas A&M," said Loftin. "Not only does he have significant personal and professional ties to both the state of Texas and the SEC, he understands our mission of building leaders of character academically and athletically who will excel in all phases of life.
"Eric has a proven track record in working with some of the leading coaches in the country, enhancing the academic experience for student-athletes, and developing and implementing comprehensive athletic facility master plans," Loftin continued. "Our move to the SEC enabled us to attract an outstanding pool of candidates, and Eric quickly demonstrated that he was the person to lead Texas A&M Athletics during this exciting time."
In athletic director positions at South Carolina, Texas Christian University, Miami (Ohio) University and Virginia Military Institute, Hyman built a reputation for recruiting top coaching talent and student-athletes, improving athletics facilities and developing financial resources in support of athletic programs.
"Eric Hyman is a man of integrity whose deeply ingrained core values have helped him succeed wherever he has been," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "His vision for intercollegiate athletics - among them hiring coaches and staff, facility enhancement, fundraising and budgeting - have helped him build outstanding programs at VMI, Miami University, TCU and South Carolina. While the last seven years, Eric has made his home in Columbia; I know that he will be closer to his children and their families in Texas, and that is important to him."
Under Hyman's leadership, the South Carolina Athletics Department has made tremendous strides in becoming a nationally prominent program, with the goal of competing for championships in all sports, as exhibited by the school's first men's national championship with the baseball team's title in June 2010, which was repeated in June 2011.
During the 2011-12 academic year, South Carolina's football team set a school record for most wins in a season with 11; the women's basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16; the women's soccer team was crowned SEC regular season champions; the women's golf team captured the East Regional title and finished fifth at the NCAA Championships; and the baseball team was the national runner-up at the College World Series. In addition, both men's and women's soccer, tennis, golf, and track and field advanced to the postseason. Since January 2010, South Carolina has posted wins over eight top-ranked teams in four sports: Alabama in football; Kentucky in men's basketball; Arizona State, Florida, Vanderbilt and Virginia in baseball; and Georgia and Auburn in equestrian.
While at South Carolina, Hyman oversaw the recruitment of top coaches Frank Martin in men's basketball and Dawn Staley in women's basketball. He led the university's first capital campaign for athletics and a $200 million facilities master plan that includes the state-of-the-art Carolina Stadium for baseball, major upgrades to football and basketball facilities, an academic enrichment center for student-athletes, and the breaking of ground this month for a new softball stadium.
Off the field, South Carolina's Academic Progress Report scores have continually improved under Hyman's watch, and Gamecock student-athletes are regularly among the leaders in the SEC Academic Honor Roll. South Carolina student-athletes concluded the 2011-12 academic year posting their highest departmental grade point average to date. The GPA for the fall semester (3.202) was the highest ever, and the GPA for the spring semester (3.196) was the second-highest. In addition, South Carolina's APR scores have continually improved under Hyman's watch, with all 19 of the university's countable sports posting a multi-year score of 950 or better in the latest report.
"It is a tremendous honor to lead Texas A&M into this new era of the SEC," Hyman said. "As the son of a West Point graduate who was an Army general, and the brother and father-in-law of Aggies, I understand and appreciate the heritage and core values that set Texas A&M apart. My wife, Pauline, and I look forward to becoming members of the Aggie family.
"I have been extremely impressed with Texas A&M's commitment to competing at the highest levels, as well as the university's dedication to the academic development of student-athletes. I believe that my relationships and knowledge of the SEC will play an integral role in Texas A&M's transition into the conference, and I have no doubt that the Aggies will make an immediate impact in the league."
As TCU's athletic director from 1998 to 2005, the Horned Frogs recorded 32 conference titles and consistently posted a graduation percentage 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.
Hyman oversaw a TCU football program that went to six bowl games in seven years, produced Heisman Trophy candidate LaDainian Tomlinson and ranked as high as sixth in the BCS polls; a women's basketball program that went to five consecutive NCAA Tournaments; a baseball team that earned back-to-back regional appearances for the first time in school history; and top-five national rankings for both the men's indoor and outdoor track and field and men's tennis teams. He also led a $30 million, three-phase program to renovate athletic department facilities at TCU.
Hyman is known as a leader among coaches and athletic administrators nationwide, having been named 2003-04 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal National Athletics Director of the Year and Division I-A West Regional Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He also is a past president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association. More recently, Hyman was named to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and was selected as the 2010-11 Under Armour Southeast Region Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA.
Hyman, 61, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was an all-ACC football player, named to the dean's list, selected for the Hula Bowl and signed by the New Orleans Saints. He has a master's degree in educational administration from Furman University, where he also coached football for nine years. He and his wife, Pauline, together coached the women's basketball team at North Greenville University in Tigersville, S.C., leading the team to national rankings in the 1970s. They have a grown son and daughter, who both live with their families in Fort Worth.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents authorized Loftin to take any and all action to identify a candidate for athletic director, and negotiate and execute an employment agreement with this candidate, at its telephonic meeting on June 29. Texas A&M officially enters the SEC on July 1, and Hyman officially assumes his new duties on August 1.