NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jack Leggett's opening statement, plus the last four questions posed to Clemson's 21st-year baseball coach, following the Tigers' season-ending 6-4 loss to Xavier in the NCAA Nashville Regional:
"This is disappointing. I'm disappointed for our players, I'm disappointed for our team. But I think right now, we just didn't play well enough this weekend to deserve to stay, to be honest with you. We just didn't do enough good things offensively, pitching, defensively. Somehow, we just didn't cme here and play our best baseball. We put ourselves in tough positions. I thought we had a chance, Goose was pitching well enough to give ourselves a chance to win, and we came out of the lightning delay and somehow just didn't make some plays we needed to make and put ourselves in a tough spot. I'm disappointed for our team."
With AD Dan Radakovich telling The Post and Courier he was "looking forward" to meeting with Leggett at season's end and discussing the team's future, but expected better things from the program, did Leggett expect to lead the Tigers again in 2015?
"Am I fully confident that I'll be back coaching next year?" Leggett said, before a brief pause. "I'd like to tell you that's a ridiculous question. OK? I've been here for 21 years and I got a track record that's pretty good. So I'm sure we'll sit down and talk about it."
Asked if he believes he's got the administration's full support:
"I would hope so. Yeah, I would hope so."
On how Leggett would characterize the future of the program (four straight years of no College World Series, all ending in an NCAA regional):
"I think the future is always bright for this program. It's been one of the top programs in the country for a long period of time. I haven't lost any confidence in anything that we do. Everybody looks at our program as on the outside looking in. Five percent of your fan base is always unhappy about something, but people who know what our baseball program is all about and the people who look at our baseball program from the outside, those that know college baseball, know that Clemson's got a strong, traditional, prideful baseball program. Not many programs have been in the NCAA Tournament 20 out of the last 21 years, been to nine Super Regionals and been to Omaha six times during that span. So I would think that the future is always bright for us. We just got to continue working hard."
On how Leggett would characterize the 2014 season (36-25):
"I'm a little disappointed in it. Personally I go into every season thinking we want to get to Omaha, like anybody else does that follows our program. I just don't feel like, for some reason, we ever really had everybody gelling at one time, playing as well together as I thought maybe we could. We just, for some reason, showed flashes of brilliance here and there, and then we showed flashes that weren't so good. We never really broke through and got that real consistent mojo that I thought was going to happen for us. We saw it at different times. We had some big games at different times. We did some really good things at different times. To me, it's a little disappointing. I'm always disappointed if you don't win the last game of the year, it's just the way I'm wired up. It'll take a little while to figure this one out, figure out what we gotta do, figure out who we've got coming back, and what we've got to do to get ourselves back in this situation to have this opportunity again, and figure out how to make ourselves better. But I'm disappointed for my players more than anything else. I'd love to see them keep on playing to win. So I'm a little disappointed. We just never really put it together. We never had enough players playing good at the same time. We had different things happen to us during the course of the year - sometime we weren't hitting, we pitched exceptionally well. Sometimes we hit and didn't pitch well, sometimes we'd pitch well at the beginning but we didn't pitch well in the middle of the game. Sometimes we played really good defense and sometimes, you know, we didn't play as good of defense as we needed to play. So the little combination of everything during the whole course of the season wasn't anything that jumped out at me every single day. We just couldn't quite put it all together. So I'm hoping the experience of this, and the motivation of this, will turn into something positive for us next year."