CLEMSON — Clemson baseball finished the 2021 season in impressive fashion with an 11-5 victory over Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament Wednesday night.
But the Tigers end the year with a 25-27 overall record, which head coach Monte Lee knows is unacceptable by Clemson standards.
Lee just completed his sixth season at Clemson, and this will be the first time the Tigers miss the NCAA Tournament under Lee.
After Clemson suffered its first losing season since 1957 and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008, does Lee expect to be back? He was asked Wednesday night.
“I don’t make those types of assumptions, and I think you know why. Because I’m super, 100 percent accountable for this program and how we perform in this program. So that’s going to be determined by Dan Radakovich and the administration,” Lee said.
“I’m accountable for what happened this season, so I certainly hope to be back. If I am back then we’re gonna work really hard to turn it around and get these guys ready to have a nice run next year.”
Clemson AD Dan Radakovich spoke with ClemsonSports.com about Lee and the baseball program approximately three weeks ago. Radakovich said at the time that he was hopeful Clemson was playing its best baseball of the season late in the year as the Tigers were coming off of a sweep of a top 10 Louisville team.
However, Clemson went 3-9 over its final 12 games.
Radakovich shared with ClemsonSports.com in early May what he will consider when deciding if a change is needed.
“One of the things that’s important for all of the sports we have is — is the culture of the program positive?” Radakovich said. “When you go down and you’re around the players is it positive? Do they continue to accept coaching? Do they continue to progress? Is the coaching staff doing the job that they need to do to put our student-athletes in the right position to be successful? Those are all things that kind of go into the mix. A little bit of it is varying by sport, to be real honest with you.”
Lee came to Clemson after spending seven seasons at College of Charleston, leading the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament four times.
Lee has a 207-113 record across his six seasons at Clemson and a 483-258 overall record as a head coach.
He is confident that he is the right man to lead Clemson’s baseball program, and he will share that with Radakovich when the two meet soon.
“I’m a believer in track record. I’ve got 13 years experience as the head coach and I’ve put together a lot of successful teams. So I believe in myself. I believe that I can lead this team. I can get this team going in the right direction again. I believe in my toughness. I’m confident that I can coach this team at a high level. I can coach baseball at a high level,” Lee said.
“So I certainly believe in myself and will certainly express that to Dan. But I’ve also got to look at all the things we’ve got to get better at and what are the areas that we need to improve upon. I’m sure that when I get that opportunity, whenever that may be, we’ll discuss those things, and I’ll certainly get Dan’s input as well. He’s one of the best athletics directors in the country, and I’m sure there are some things he’d want to share with me as well.”