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Coming off back-to-back seasons of missing the NCAA Tournament, Clemson baseball head coach Monte Lee was let go by Clemson Athletics on Tuesday.
Lee completed his seventh season as head coach finishing 11th in the ACC with a 35-23 record in 2022. Last season, Lee led the Tigers to their first losing record (25-27) since 1957. With the lack of postseason success over the past two seasons, Clemson athletic director Graham Neff decided it was time for a change.
“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,” said Neff in Tuesday’s press release.
Overall, Lee went 242-136 in his seven seasons as head coach, leading Clemson to an ACC Championship title in 2016 and four NCAA Tournament appearances from 2016 to 2019.
“It’s certainly a time of grieving,” Lee told WCIV’s Scott Eisberg. “Certainly sad that my time here at Clemson is over. You know, I feel like I failed.”
As for the program’s future, Neff and his team will immediately begin the head coaching search for what he considers to be a top-15 job.
With the change in leadership, however, some other changes will occur for Clemson’s roster next season. According to The Clemson Insider, catcher Jonathan French and outfielder Dylan Brewer have entered the transfer portal.
With the abundance of change within the program, here are the mixed reactions on Twitter from a couple of current players and many fans.
Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
— Caden Grice (@CadenGrice3) June 1, 2022
I am glad Clemson decided to part ways with Monte Lee. I wish him all the best.
— John Chancey (@chanceyjohn) May 31, 2022
Reading all this criticism about Clemson letting Monte Lee go. Just a reminder to those tweeting – no one said anything about him not being a great person, or great advocate for his student athletes. No one is questioning his values. The only issue being brought up is the results
— Sarah Jo Skelton (@sarahjoskelton) June 1, 2022
Now that he's canned Monte Lee, @GrahamNeff should correct the mistake made in 2015 and bring back Jack Leggett. The let him go out on his own terms.
— Robert Key (@RobKey14) June 1, 2022
Big mistake at CU. Monte Lee is the real deal. Not a good look for Clemson’s new AD.
— Mike Taylor (@miketaylor21) June 1, 2022
Not quite on board with firing Monte Lee. Of course I’m still not over what they did to Jack Leggett! 😜
— SallyThatClemsonGirl (@SallyTiger) May 31, 2022
I loved the Monte Lee hire when it happened but it just didn’t work out. He was given time to make it work, and it just didn’t. Excited about the future and I wish Monte success wherever he goes.
— Josh Garrison 🤙🏼🤚🏼 (@garrison107) May 31, 2022
Sports is a results-oriented business and always has been, but it still always hurts to see such a likable coach like Monte Lee lose a job. Best of luck in the future, Coach Lee.
— Austin Pendergist (@apthirteen) May 31, 2022
Like Monte Lee and bummed that this decision needed to be made. But, when results on the field aren’t matching, changes eventually need to take place. https://t.co/WEgTJ4Btiy
— Nick Roby (@nickroby) May 31, 2022
I do believe Monte Lee should've been given the grave that Brownell was offered.
Frankly I think the decisions should've been flipped. However we do not live a world rules by myself. Lee is a phenomenal coach and he'll KILL IT where ever he ends up.
— Fifth Quarter Clemson (@FQClemson) May 31, 2022
I absolutely love Monte Lee! He was always so nice to the fans and I loved his energy! Best of luck in your next journey, Coach Lee! 🤍 https://t.co/axEvfg04mU
— Sarah (@sarahkf2020) May 31, 2022
I applaud this move by AD Graham Neff to reboot Clem baseball. Monte Lee did a lot of good things but couldn't move the needle for Clem & slipped past 2 yrs despite having some good pieces–thought we might see some position coaches fired but glad to see Neff go w/full reboot.
— NoRiskItNoBiscuit 🇺🇦🌻 (@QuackingTiger) May 31, 2022
However monte Lee won’t have an issue getting a job. Great guy and coach. Things just didn’t work out. Standards are high as a coach/manager 👀
— Mike (@Blackmon_BSBL) May 31, 2022
I can’t imagine anyone being kinder or more welcoming to me than Monte Lee. I’m a smarter baseball fan and broadcaster because of our conversations.
Results matter, and they should. Doesn’t make this any more enjoyable for me.
— William Qualkinbush (@QualkTalk) May 31, 2022
Damn, just saw Monte Lee got fired. Really thought he would do a great job, but missing regionals 2 years in a row won’t fly. Tiger baseball almost seems irrelevant & that won’t fly either. Got some great players coming back, thought he might get 1 more year. So it goes.
— Richard Chinnis (@rchinnis) May 31, 2022
Well I was wrong. I really like Monte Lee and hope he has great success at his next stop. Thanks for what you did for Clemson.
— Nathan Swords, MEd (@coachswords) May 31, 2022
In most cases Monte Lee’s tenure at Clemson would be viewed as a success. But it was time for a change in the baseball program. The overall player development, the lack of improvement/health of the pitching staff, as well as in game decisions made moving on much easier.
— I-85 Sports (@I85Sports) May 31, 2022
Monte Lee is a nice guy but missing 2 regionals at Clemson isn’t getting it done. Program needs some life breathed back into it. This was a premier program and others have passed it by. It can be elite again. https://t.co/a7xdWngyv1
— Josh Hadden, M.A. (@CoachJoshHadden) May 31, 2022
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