2023 Gamecock
Sports Preview

Presented by‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ Founders Federal Credit Union Logo


Gamecock Sports Preview 2023

It may be summer, but we are already looking forward to kicking off a new academic year with our annual Gamecock Sports Preview, presented by Founders Federal Credit Union, Thursday, August 24 from 6-8 p.m. at the Pastides Alumni Center. This members-only event includes dinner, drinks (beer and wine), and the opportunity to mingle with fellow fans.

Gamecock Sports Preview 2022 brought together nearly 500 alumni and fans to socialize and hear about what’s ahead for South Carolina athletics.


Michael Amiridis | University President

Michael Amiridis became 30th president of the University of South Carolina on July 1, 2022. Before coming home to Carolina, he led the University of Illinois Chicago as its chancellor since 2015.

Prior to leading UIC, Amiridis spent more than two decades at our Columbia campus as a faculty member and administrator, serving from 2009 to 2015 as the university’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Read President Amiridis’ full bio >

Shane Beamer | Head Coach, Gamecock Football

Shane Beamer, one of the rising stars among coaches in college football, has completed two seasons as the University of South Carolina’s head coach. He was named the Gamecocks’ 36th head football coach on Dec. 6, 2020. Beamer has had a successful first two seasons in Columbia matching Joe Morrison, Steve Spurrier and Will Muschamp for the most wins by a head football coach in his first two seasons at Carolina (15-11).

Prior to his first head coaching stint, Beamer had been an assistant coach at seven Football Bowl Subdivision schools for 21 seasons. During his career as an assistant, he coached in 17 bowl games, including a College Football Playoff National Championship Game, posted 18 non-losing seasons, six of those with double-digit victories, and his teams won 63 percent of its games.

Read Coach Beamer’s full bio >

Mark Kingston | Head Coach, Gamecock Baseball

Mark Kingston was named the head baseball coach at the University of South Carolina on June 30, 2017. He became the 30th head coach in the history of Gamecock Baseball. Kingston came to Carolina following a three-year stint as the head coach at USF. He owns a career mark of 453-310-1 in 14 seasons as a head coach, including five at Illinois State, with five NCAA Tournament appearances, including hosts in both 2021 and 2023.

Kingston has helped lead 14 teams to NCAA Tournament berths as an assistant and head coach — with six of those teams appearing in the NCAA Super Regionals, two participating in the College World Series and one winning a national championship. His 2023 team hosted and won the NCAA Columbia Regional, defeating Central Connecticut State, N.C. State and Campbell, and advanced to the Gainesville Super Regional. The Gamecocks were ranked as high as No. 3 in the D1Baseball.com weekly polls, ended the 2023 season No. 8 in the RPI with a No. 3 strength of schedule.

Read Coach Kingston’s full bio >

Lamont Paris | Head Coach, Gamecock Men’s Basketball

Lamont Paris, who has been a part of nine NCAA Division I Tournaments and 17 twenty-win seasons as a college head and assistant coach, was named the University of South Carolina’s 33rd head coach by Director of Athletics Ray Tanner on Thursday, March 24, 2022. Paris, 47, is the first African-American head coach in the history of the Gamecock men’s basketball program.

Paris comes to Carolina after five seasons as the head coach at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, coaching the Mocs to an 87-72 overall record (.547), including a 65-29 mark the last three seasons. In his 17 seasons as a collegiate assistant coach, teams associated with Paris were 497-217 (.696) with five conference titles and 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching two Final Fours.

Read Coach Paris’ full bio >

Beverly Smith | Head Coach, Gamecock Softball

Coach Smith is the 2nd winningest coach in SC softball history, leading the Gamecocks to eight NCAA tournament berths in 11 years. As a head coach, Smith’s overall record is 425-299, becoming only the second Gamecock softball coach with over 400 career wins.

Carolina made a postseason run for the ages in 2023, as the Gamecocks became the first double-digit seed to reach the SEC Tournament final. Carolina finished the season with 40 wins for the second time under Smith.

Read Coach Smith’s full bio >

Dawn Staley | Head Coach, Gamecock Women’s Basketball

Dawn Staley

Catapulting South Carolina into the national spotlight when she was hired in May 2008, Dawn Staley has made the Gamecocks a mainstay in the battle for SEC and national championships. Under her leadership, the Gamecocks have reached many firsts – National Championships, NCAA Final Fours, No. 1 rankings, SEC regular-season and tournament titles, SEC Players of the Year, National Players of the Year, WNBA No. 1 Draft picks, an undefeated regular season, and No. 1 recruiting classes – to name the most notable.

In Staley’s 15 seasons at the helm of the Gamecocks, highlights include:

  • Two National Championships (2017, 2022)
  • Five NCAA Final Fours in the last eight tournaments (2015, 2017, 2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Ranking in the AP Top 25 every week since Dec. 10, 2012, the third-longest active streak in the nation (206)
  • 38 straight weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, just the third program to go wire-to-wire in that poll in back-to-back seasons
  • Six 30-win seasons, including a program-record 36 wins in 2022-23
  • Seven SEC regular-season championships (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2022, 2023)
  • Seven SEC Tournament titles (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2023)
  • Three top-two recruiting classes (#1 in 2021, #1 in 2019, #2 in 2014)
  • Nine NCAA Attendance titles (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)

Read Coach Staley’s full bio >

Ray Tanner | Athletics Director

University of South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner is in his 11th year guiding the Gamecocks’ athletics programs. After a long and highly successful career as Carolina’s baseball coach, Tanner officially began his new duties on Aug. 2, 2012. On March 17, 2023, Tanner was awarded a contract extension, keeping him in the AD’s chair until 2026.

Under Tanner’s watch, Gamecock student-athletes have achieved tremendous success in intercollegiate athletic competition, in the classroom and in the community.

Read Ray Tanner’s full bio >


Connor Shaw ’14 | AVP and Insurance Advisor for HUB

Connor Shaw, University of South Carolina’s all-time winningest quarterback, serves as Assistant Vice President and Insurance Advisor for Hub International Limited (HUB). Prior to his role at HUB, he was Director of Football Relations for Gamecock Football. He returned to the Carolina football program in January of 2020 as Director of Player Development. In that role, he focused on the student-athlete’s career development, mental health, financial literacy and life skills, while leading the “Beyond Football” program.


Gamecock Sports Preview is for Alumni Association and Gamecock Club members only. Be sure to join the Association or renew your membership.


We invite businesses and individuals to sponsor this year’s event. View our sponsorship menu here.


Presenting Sponsor

Photo Booth Sponsor

Gamecock Sponsors

Patti Shelley

Carolina Sponsors

Carolina Gas Transmission LLC

Environmental Systems Testing

PAG Marketing

Southern Press Printing

USC Association of Lettermen