Back-to-back seasons without making the NCAA Tournament apparently was too much for the Clemson administration and AD Graham Neff to stomach, and this afternoon the University announced the firing of baseball coach Monte Lee. A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.
Lee just completed his seventh season as head coach of the Tigers. After suffering through a losing season in 2021, the Tigers bounced back to win 35 games this season, but it wasn’t enough to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament in consecutive season for the first time since the mid-80s.
Lee was hired by then athletic director Dan Radakovich after the dismissal of Hall of Fame coach Jack Legette after a successful run at his alma mater of the College of Charleston. His first team won the ACC Tournament Championship, and his first four teams played in NCAA Regionals, three at home. But his teams never made it past the regional round.
At Clemson, Lee was 242-136 overall and 102-86 in ACC play. Clemson finished the 2022 season with a 35-23 overall record and finished tied for 11th in the ACC standings. Over the past two seasons, Clemson was 60-50 (.545) overall and 29-36 (.446) in ACC play.
Neff issued the following statement in a release:
“Monte and his staff have been nothing but professional in their approach to Clemson Baseball, and we appreciate the manner in which they’ve represented Clemson University,” said Neff. “The expectations for Clemson Baseball are very high, and the team’s recent on-field performance has not met those of our administration, our coaching staff, our student-athletes or our loyal fanbase. Clemson Baseball is a proud program, and we, as a department, are committed to doing all we can to return our program to national prominence. We will work with our student-athletes to ensure that the transition process is successful.”
Assistant Coach Bradley LeCroy and Director of Operations Brad Owens will oversee the program while the search is conducted.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Clemson AD Graham Neff met with the media to discuss his decision to make a change in the baseball program. You can listen to his explanation below, courtesy of CU Sports Information.