July 1, 2015

A SportsTalk exclusive with new Clemson baseball coach Monte Lee (AUDIO)

Monte Lee joined SportsTalk for the first time as Clemson's baseball coach Monday night.

Monte Lee joined SportsTalk for the first time as Clemson’s baseball coach Monday night.

Last Thursday Clemson announced they’d found a new leader for the Tiger baseball team, but the school decided to hold off on an official press conference due to the events in Charleston.

Monday morning Clemson officially announced former College of Charleston coach Monte Lee as their new head baseball coach inside the West Zone at Memorial Stadium.

Coach Lee has been a frequent guest of SportsTalk during his successful stint while coaching the Cougars.  He was 276-145 as the head man at his alma mater, and took CofC to the postseason four times.  Tonight was our first crack at coach as a cat with stripes.

Coach’s excitement was evident from the jump.  We discussed all of the standard transition questions with him regarding the move to a new place, a destination that happens to be a team he used to coach against in the greatest baseball rivalry in the country as a member of Ray Tanner’s staff at USC.  He touched on his relationship with current USC coach Chad Holbrook, what he’s outlined as his biggest priorities since arriving in Clemson, and we even talked uniforms, juxtaposing progress and tradition, and more.

AUDIO: Monte Lee [15:00]


Ray Tanner talks USC BOT moves; Monte Lee hiring on SportsTalk (AUDIO)

USC Athletic Director Ray Tanner joined SportsTalk Friday night to discuss a variety of topics.

USC Athletic Director Ray Tanner joined SportsTalk Friday night to discuss a variety of topics.

Friday evening USC Athletic Director Ray Tanner joined us on the program once again to discuss a multitude of things.

Earlier in the day the USC Board of Trustees were hard at work making big decisions concerning athletics at the University.  Amongst them was a two-year contract extension and a raise for women’s’ basketball coach Dawn Staley.   The women’s team is now a nationally prominent program, and reached the Final Four last season.  Staley’s contract now spans six years and she’s received an annual bump of $200,000.

Coach Staley’s team’s home will have the same calling card as well.  The Board also announced that Colonial Life is signing on once more for the naming rights at the basketball arena.  The “CLA” moniker will carry on as the site for USC basketball home games for the foreseeable future.   To that end, Tanner also told us that there could be news concerning the naming rights at Carolina Stadium for the baseball team “probably in the months to come.”

The college baseball landscape has shaken tremendously in South Carolina during the past couple of weeks.  In early June, Tanner’s long-time nemesis on the field in the Clemson-Carolina rivalry, Jack Leggett, was dismissed as the head coach at Clemson after 22 seasons at the school.  Yesterday, the University officially announced they’ll be replacing Leggett with College of Charleston head coach Monte Lee, a former assistant of Tanner’s at USC for six seasons.

Coach Tanner told us although he hasn’t spoken to coach Leggett, he’s looking forward to the opportunity when the time comes.  Coach Lee did consult with Tanner concerning the Clemson job.  Tanner shed some light on the information he provided Monte during the process.  He also provided quality detail concerning coach Lee’s distant coaching past, their time together on the same staff in Columbia, and how their relationship will evolve now as rivals.

With football season creeping up on us, Tanner also provided some early numbers concerning the USC opener at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte against North Carolina on Thursday, September 3rd.  Of the 12,500 allotted tickets for USC, Tanner tells us roughly 8,000 have been sold.  He also believes, in total, over 40,000 have been sold thus far.

Lastly, we couldn’t let Ray Tanner get away with playing his old role of “Coach Tanner.”  With the College World Series shaping up nicely for the championship round, we got his thoughts on the remaining field.

AUDIO: Ray Tanner [15:00]



Bill McDonald joins SportsTalk from U.S. Open (AUDIO)

Bill McDonald joined us Wednesday night to discuss the U.S. Open

Bill McDonald joined us Wednesday night to discuss the U.S. Open

Tonight we welcomed back in to SportsTalk USC mens golf coach Bill McDonald.

McDonald is located on the other side of the map in Washington to witness this year’s U.S. Open.  The Gamecocks very own Matt NeSmith is competing in this year’s Open following his performance at a sectional tournament in Ball Ground, Georgia, earlier this month.

Coach McDonald made his way out west Sunday afternoon, traveling alongside his protegé, and took in today’s practice round.  He gave us an inside look into Chambers Bay, told us what the weather looks like and how it’s affecting the course.

We’ll be checking in with coach McDonald for the rest of the week while he’s at Chambers Bay.

AUDIO: Bill McDonald [7:00]




A SportsTalk conversation with football legend, John McKissick (AUDIO)

John McKissick retired Tuesday after 63 seasons at Summerville.

John McKissick retired Tuesday after 63 seasons at Summerville.

Tuesday morning quite the era came to an end.  The man who sits atop the football mountaintop in terms of victories won on the field, no matter the level of play, decided it was time for the record to end at 621.  Lucky for us he calls the state of South Carolina home.  Today Summerville head coach John McKissick officially retired from walking the sidelines at the place he built into a nationally prominent program after 63 seasons as the man leading the Green Wave.

Tuesday evening coach McKissick was kind enough to join us on the show to discuss the decision to retire, relive some of his favorite memories, and look ahead to what the future holds for the man with the impeccable gridiron resume, as well as the school he’s leaving behind.

McKissick, who will turn 89 in September, told SportsTalk tonight his health was plenty good to continue to coach, but this decision was based more on the opportunity to be with family, most importantly his wife.

Coach looked ahead to the future of the Green Wave program now that he’s stepped away with us as well.  As of today, he believes his grandson, Joe Call, who played quarterback at Summerville before playing at The Citadel, will be named the head coach in the interim.

We discussed the milestones, the record, and the genesis as well.  He told us what the record means to him personally, if he believes his record is approachable, and more.

McKissick gave the distinction of the single most difficult coach he ever competed against to Greenwood’s Pinky Babb, whom he faced twice in his career, going 1-1.

There’s very few, if any, who have seen the game evolve more than McKissick, we took away a couple of things he’s learned to appreciate, in time, as well as some things he could do without in the present.  Lastly, the legend gave us a pretty good idea as to what he’ll be doing on game nights this upcoming fall.

AUDIO: John McKissick [16:00]


Latest Gamecock commit JJ Givens joins SportsTalk Monday (AUDIO)

JJ Givens discussed his commitment to USC Monday night on SportsTalk.

JJ Givens discussed his commitment to USC Monday night on SportsTalk.

The USC football program held their annual Gamecock Showcase camp this weekend in Columbia.  The immediate returns saw USC land two more verbal commits, one in the this year’s class and one for 2017, to join the fold and have their college careers play out in Columbia.

Chapin tight end Will Register became the first verbal pledge for the Gamecocks to represent the class of 2017 when he pulled the trigger and committed to USC on Saturday.

Later in the day the 2016 class got their fifth commitment when JJ Givens of Mechanicsville, Virginia, committed to Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier at the conclusion of camp.

Monday night Givens was kind enough to join us on SportsTalk to discuss his time at camp, and what led to the pledge.

Givens discussed the relationships he built with multiple Gamecock coaches while he was on campus, the position he plans to play in college, when he will enroll, and much more.

AUDIO: JJ Givens [7:00]