Clemson AD will make an expeditious effort to find a new baseball coach

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CLEMSON, SC — Tuesday was a rough day for Clemson’s new sporting director Graham Neff. After only five months on the job, he has already made a difficult decision.

Neff earlier in the day announced a leadership change within the baseball program and Monte Lee will not return as head coach. Lee has spent the last seven seasons as Tigers boss.

“It was a hard day. Tough day. Never easy decisions like this and certainly in my role here it’s important to evaluate and make difficult decisions. It is, and mostly because Coach Lee is, first and foremost, Clemson Baseball as a person and as a leader,” Neff said. “He has always led Clemson first class and has been an incredibly important part of our department.”

Lee has two years left on his contract, which Neff says is about $500,000. Who will replace Lee as Clemson’s next head coach will begin the search immediately.

“As I said, given a market and where we’re doing the search, I think Clemson Baseball is a top 15 job. Period,” Neff said. “With the heritage, the resources, the facilities, the fan base, the talent in this state of South Carolina and the region, and I think that’s where Clemson Baseball should be and what that postseason, regional, super regional competition is and means Omaha.

“We’ve been to 12 College World Series and we’re competing to increase that number. So we want to start with the ability to attract coaches of this caliber.”

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Longtime assistant coach Bradley LeCroy, along with director of operations Brad Owens, will oversee the program while the search for the new head coach is conducted. Both also worked under Jack Leggett.

Neff said they don’t initially anticipate LeCroy will be a candidate for the head coaching position. LeCroy played for Jack Leggett from 1997 to 2000 and coached his staff for eight years. He was Leggett’s assistant head coach from 2013–15.

When Lee took over, he retained Bradley on the team as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the past seven years. LeCroy interviewed for the job after Leggett was fired in 2015.

“We expect him to be an incredibly important part of a transition process here,” Neff said. “The last time, seven years ago, he behaved in this way. I was free to meet with him and Brad this afternoon, charged them and asked for temporary help with that.”

Graham said no timeline had been set for when Clemson would want a new baseball coach, but they want to act quickly.

“We want to be incredibly respectful of the season with baseball, postseason and regionals and maybe we’d like to address some coaches,” he said. “No set schedule. We have a few scenarios based only on availability and candidates that need to be discussed. But we want to move fast. We are incredibly optimistic about our job and the profile of our job as a top 15 job and the interest it will have.

“Again, our desire to win and win big in the required investment and resources that information would deliver. We are ready to present a great package to jumpstart these discussions with the timeline for TBD.”

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