This is not your granddad’s South Carolina Gamecocks.

The times have changed in Columbia,South Carolina and the University of South Carolina is a place that needs to be taken seriously in college athletics.

We are witnessing some of the greatest times in the athletic history for the Gamecocks. We’ve got a football program that finished ranked in the Top 10 nationally. We’ve witnessed back-to-back national championships in baseball. Our women’s basketball program just made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Has it ever been this good across the board for the Gamecocks?

The athletic program as a whole seems to be here for the long haul. Football has taken off since Steve Spurrier has been in town. Recruiting has been phenomenal the past few years and the success off the field can now be seen on the field. Ray Tanner was always a successful coach in baseball but he’s taking things up another level with those national championships. Dawn Staley has a budding women’s program ready to build on the success of this past season.

The one major sport that was lacking, men’s basketball, received a huge upgrade by hiring Kansas State’s Frank Martin as its new head coach. Martin has had KSU in the postseason every year during his five-year stay in Manhattan. He commands a lot of respect from his players and is an honest and energetic individual. The basketball program will benefit immediately from the hiring of Frank Martin.

South Carolina was once the place known as the “graveyard” for coaches.

Ask Steve Spurrier, Ray Tanner, Dawn Staley and Frank Martin about that now. I wonder what the response would be.

Steve Spurrier has shown it can be done in football at South Carolina. He has evaluated the major revenue sport at South Carolina and, in turn, has helped elevate the rest of the athletic department.

Ask yourself this question: Do you think South Carolina could have hired Frank Martin without Steve Spurrier?

I’d have to say no.

Martin mentioned Steve Spurrier, Ray Tanner and Dawn Staley a few times during his press conferences. I think this should show people that USC is a well-respected athletic program across the nation and not the mediocre group that it once was.

Spurrier is a huge reason for the overall success of the athletic programs at USC and I’m sure every single coach is thankful to have the coaching legend roaming the sidelines at Williams-Brice. One day Steve Spurrier will eventually retire from coaching football at South Carolina. Luckily for us, he has prepared this program for that day by building it into the winner that we see now.

There is a great group of coaches that are the face of South Carolina. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more recognizable group of coaches at any other college across the nation. People want to be a part of this new movement in Columbia. They want to see what South Carolina has to offer. They want this “sleeping giant” to wake up.

Well I’d say it’s been awake for a few years now.