Clemson fires baseball coach after missing NCAA Tournament

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson has fired baseball coach Monte Lee after his team missed its second straight NCAA Tournament.

First-year athletic director Graham Neff announced the move Tuesday. Lee has spent seven seasons with the Tigers. He made the NCAAs in each of his first four seasons to extend the program’s run of 32 straight postseason appearances.

The NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and Clemson’s streak ended the next year. The Tigers went 35-23 this past season and 13-16 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Their season finished last week with two losses at the ACC Tournament.

“The expectations for Clemson baseball are very high,” Neff said in a statement. “The team’s recent on-field performance has not met those of our administration, our coaching staff, our student athletes or our loyal fanbase.”

Neff said the university is committed returning to where it had been — Clemson reached the College World Series six times from 1995 through 2010 — and would conduct a national search for Lee’s successor.

Lee went 242-136 overall with the Tigers and 102-86 in ACC play. This year’s team featured power-hitter Max Wagner, who had 27 homers to tie the program record and was named the ACC player of the year.

Assistant Bradley LeCroy and director of operations Brad Owens will oversee the program while the search is conducted.

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