Clemson officially introduces Erik Bakich as new baseball head coach

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:55 AM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Clemson has found a new man to lead the baseball team. The Tigers officially hired Erik Bakich to be the new head baseball coach.

The Clemson Board of Trustees unanimously approved a six-year contract with the deal starting at $850,000 in year one and increasing up to $1.1 million at the end of the deal.

“Our family is thrilled to join the Clemson Athletics family and immerse ourselves in the local community,” said Bakich. “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 comes to Clemson after leading Michigan for the previous decade. He led the Wolverines to a 328-216 record (65.9%) and a 140-93 record (66.4%) in conference play. Each of the past two seasons Bakich lead the Big Blue to the NCAA Regionals. Back in 2019, Michigan finished with a 50-22 record and were College World Series Runner-Ups.

After the 2019 season, Bakich was named the NCBWA National Coach of the Year.

“We are delighted to welcome Erik, Jiffy and their three children back to the Clemson Family,” said Graham Neff, Clemson Athletics Director. “Erik impressed us with his integrity, his approach to running a program and the emphasis he puts into the student-athlete experience. He knows well the expectations at Clemson, which he contributed to, through his role within the 2002 team and working alongside Jack Leggett, Tim Corbin and Kevin O’Sullivan, among others. I am confident in Erik’s ability to compete for ACC Championships and return to Omaha, and do it the right way.”

Bakich takes over a Clemson program that had missed the NCAA Tournament for the previous two seasons. Former Tigers head baseball coach Monte Lee was fired after seven seasons leading Clemson.

After the firing, Clemson Athletics Director Graham Neff said “I consider Clemson Baseball to be a top 15 job. With the tradition, the resources, the talent in this region. And that’s where I believe Clemson Baseball should be.”

Before leading the Wolverines, Bakich started his coaching career as an assistant at Clemson back in 2002. He transitioned to Vanderbilt where he spent seven seasons under Commodores head coach Tim Corbin. He got his first head coaching job at Maryland where he led the Terrapins for three seasons.

Bakich played collegiate baseball first at San Jose (Calif.) City College and then at East Carolina back in 1999-2000. He graduated from ECU with a degree in exercise & sports science. He played two years professionally in multiple independent leagues.

He was born on Nov. 27, 1977 in San Jose, California. He and his wife, Jiffy, have two sons, Colt and Beau, and a daughter, Tempie.

An introductory press conference is scheduled for 2:00 pm. You can watch a stream of the conference here.