Tanner greets fans at thrift store

Gamecocks Coach Ray Tanner signs autographs for fans Wednesday at the Oliver Gospel Mission's thrift store in Columbia.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Long before he won back-to-back national championships with the Gamecocks, Coach Ray Tanner was supporting the Oliver Gospel mission, an organization that helps homeless men in the midlands.

"Many times in sports, athletes especially, become heroes," said Tanner. "Really the community service, helping people who are less fortunate is what's really most important."

Tanner, a hero to many in Gamecock Nation helping promote Oliver Gospel mission's new thrift store in Columbia. He says many of his players understand it's important to "pay it forward."

"I'm really happy about my player's approach to community service, and being part of the community," said Tanner.