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Clemson officially hires new baseball head coach

Caleb Browder, Contributor

Doug Kingsmore Stadium during a night game.

After letting go of Monte Lee in May, Clemson Athletics has announced that it has hired Michigan’s Erik Bakich as the new head coach of the Tigers’ baseball program. 
Although rumors of Bakich’s arrival circulated over the past few days, Clemson’s Board of Trustees Compensation Committee officially approved a six-year contract with Bakich on Thursday that will pay Bakich $850,000 in the first year and will progressively climb up to $1.1 million by the sixth year.  
Spending the last 10 seasons as Michigan’s head coach, Bakich finished the 2022 season with a 34-28 record and made the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in his last seven seasons. He was also the consensus national coach of the year in 2019 when he led the Wolverines to a second-place finish in the College World Series. 
As for his prior relationship with the Tigers’ program, Bakich started his coaching career at Clemson in 2002 as a volunteer assistant for former head coach Jack Leggett. After 2002, he was an assistant head coach at Vanderbilt from 2003 to 2009 and had a three-year stint as Maryland’s head coach from 2010 to 2012. 
“Our family is thrilled to join the Clemson Athletics family and immerse ourselves in the local community,” said Bakich in Thursday’s press release. “It was an honor to wear the Clemson uniform 20 years ago as a young coach on Jack Leggett’s staff. I am forever grateful and very appreciative for the opportunity to start coaching at Clemson surrounded by three Hall of Famers and a record-setting team. It is a privilege to serve as a steward of this storied tradition and help lead Clemson Baseball back to prominence competing for ACC Championships, trips to Omaha and our first National Championship.”
Bakich will serve as Clemson baseball’s 28th head coach and will bring Michigan assistant Nick Schnabel with him to Clemson, according to D1 Baseball’s Kendall Rogers
Under Lee, Clemson finished the 2022 season 35-23 and missed the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years for the first time since 1986. 
With Bakich returning to where his coaching career started, the Tigers are set up for a new chapter in hopes of winning a national championship for the first time in program history.

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