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South Carolina recruits rally around Monte Lee to be Gamecocks’ next baseball coach

South Carolina assistant coach Monte Lee looks on during the Gamecocks’ game against Georgia at Founders Park in Columbia on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

It’s very early in the search to find the next South Carolina baseball coach, but several Gamecock recruits made it known on social media Monday who has their vote.

Several Class of 2024 signees, including the state’s top prospect PJ Morlando, voiced their support for USC assistant Monte Lee as the next Gamecocks coach.

South Carolina fired Mark Kingston on Monday, one day after the Gamecocks were eliminated by James Madison from the NCAA Tournament. Kingston has been at USC for seven seasons and led the Gamecocks to a pair of super regional appearances.

Lee was named the school’s interim coach Monday. His name has been mentioned in most projections as names to watch in the Gamecocks’ coaching search.

“I want to thank @CoachKingUSC for the opportunity to play at USC, and I wish you the best. @CoachMonteLee was a huge factor in my decision in signing with South Carolina. I can think of no one better to be the next head coach of the Gamecocks!! #spursup @GamecockBasebll ,” Morlando wote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Morlando is considered the top high school baseball prospect in the country by Perfect Game and was named S.C. Gatorade Player of the Year on Monday. Other committed recruits and signees to voice their support for Lee on X included Brady Jones, Elijah Grant, Ryder Garino, Tyler June and Zach Russell.

“Give us @CoachMonteLee. South Carolina man through and through. Lets get South Carolina baseball back to the top!” said Jones, who was at P-27 Academy in Lexington this year but missed this season after Tommy John surgery.

Lee just finished up his second season as Gamecocks’ associate head coach/recruiting coordinator and is a popular name in the state. When he was hired in August 2022, he talked about the chance to maybe become a head coach again one day.

“And obviously, like anybody, you’re gonna look at opportunities as they come about — if they come about. But if they don’t, that’s great. I’m gonna continue to control what I can control and be the very best coach that I can be in the role that I am in,” Lee said.

This was the Lugoff native’s second stint at USC. He was an assistant coach under current USC athletic director Ray Tanner on his staff from 2003-08.

From there, Lee got his first head coaching job at College of Charleston, where he led the Cougars to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including the school’s first Super Regional in 2014.

After CofC, Lee succeeded legendary Clemson coach Jack Leggett and led the Tigers to four NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons but never got a super regional. He was let go by Clemson after the 2022 season.