NCEA Names Coach of the Year

The University of South Carolina's Boo Major is recognized as the top National Collegiate Equestrian Association coach of 2015.

From the National Collegiate Equestrian Association

University of South Carolina head coach Boo Major steered the Gamecock equestrian team to both athletic and academic honors in the 2014-15 season. (Credit: NCEA)

University of South Carolina head coach Boo Major was named the 2015 Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association

It is the second year in a row that Major has been named NCEA Coach of the Year. The Gamecocks won the 2015 NCEA Championship April 18 in Waco, Texas, upsetting No. 1 Georgia to win the title.

“I am very humbled to receive this award from my coaching peers, but as with any individual award, it’s one that I am honored to share with a special group of people,” Major said. “This past year was an interesting one for us as it was filled with many great moments but also some challenging ones. I was proud to see our team react in such a positive way each time a challenge presented itself, and I think the character of this year’s team more than anything is why we were able to win the national championship. Along with our riders, I share this award with my assistant coaches Ruth Sorrel and Hillary Dobbs who did a tremendous job coaching our girls and preparing them to compete at a high level. I’m also proud to share this with our school president Dr. Pastides and athletics director Ray Tanner, and all of our support staff at the University of South Carolina that do so much work behind the scenes support our program.”

The Gamecocks went 12-5 this season while winning their third national title. South Carolina was the only team this year to beat all three conference champions (Fresno State, Baylor, Georgia) during the regular season. The Gamecocks also beat the three conference champions in a span of 36 hours in Waco to win the national championship. After receiving a first-round bye, Carolina defeated United Equestrian Conference champion Fresno State, 12-4, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the third seeded Gamecocks upset second-seeded and Big 12 champion Baylor, 10-6. In the national championship meet, South Carolina upset No. 1 seed and SEC Champion Georgia, 10-6.

South Carolina had a program-best four riders earn NCEA First Team All-America honors this season. The Gamecocks also led the nation with 10 Beval Saddlery Academic First Team selections, and Carolina led all SEC programs with 21 riders earning spots on the La Hacienda Academic Honor Roll.

Major, who just completed her 18th season at the University of South Carolina, has led the Gamecocks to three national championships (2005, 2007, 2015), three hunt seat national championships (2005, 2006, 2007) and two Southeastern Conference championships (2013, 2014). In 2014, she became the first University of South Carolina coach to lead a Gamecock team to back-to-back SEC titles, a feat matched this past season by Dawn Staley and the women’s basketball team. Major was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014. 

In October, Major was recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of South Carolina’s College of Information and Communications. 

The NCEA National Coach of the Year award is voted on by the schools’ head coaches.