Last Thursday, Ray Tanner, the Athletic Director of South Carolina, announced that they finally hired their second men’s soccer coach after 43 long years. They hired Tony Annan, a former employee of Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United. And he will take over the USC program from Mark Benson.
Annan has a remarkable history in terms of coaching. He had served as interim coach of Atlanta United 2, the reserve team of the MLS side, and he has been the director of franchises’ development academy that has seven different youth squads ranging from Under-12 to Under-19.
In addition to his astonishing achievements, Annan had 10 players signed professional deals and had more than 80 earned college scholarships in his time as an academy director. Forty-five of them earned Youth National Team call-ups and represented eight different countries. As an award for his excellence, he also became the youngest coach added to the Georgia Soccer Hall of Fame.
Ray Tanner, the Athletic Director of South Carolina, said that “I’m excited to welcome Tony and his family to the University of South Carolina. Tony brings more than 20 years of experience in developing high-quality soccer players on and off the field. He knows what it takes to get young men to play at a championship level, and I’m confident he will do the same here.”
Tony Annan also said in a news release that, “I am honored and grateful to be named the next head coach at the University of South Carolina. As a coach with 25 years of experience in player development, I am eager to take on this challenge. The priority will be to recruit and develop players both on and off the field in line with the traditions of the university.”
South Carolina’s new coach, Tony Annan, had a great upbringing in his career. In 1991, he played professionally with English Club West Bromwich Albion. Back in University in Marietta, Georgia, he also played college soccer and has been a fixture in Georgia for more than two decades. Tony Annan also worked as director for Concorde Fire and Norcross Soccer before joining Atlanta United.
Annan contributed a great help in forming Georgia United, a group of four Atlanta-area club teams. In South Carolina, Annan will replace Berson, who had been the first and only coach in their soccer history. They hoped that Tony Annan would bring good news to the team.