CLEMSON — Clemson’s Board of Trustees Compensation Committee on Thursday approved a contract extension for baseball coach Monte Lee.
The 40-year-old Lee, headed into his third year with the baseball program, received a one-year extension through June of 2023, meaning he now has a six-year contract for $2.85 million. Lee’s total compensation this year does not change — he will make $450,000 in total compensation in 2017-18. The total compensation is the base pay plus supplemental pay. His pay this year is $50,000 more than the $400,000 he made in 2016-17. In the future, he is set to earn $460,000 in 2018-19 and 2019-20, $480,000 in 2020-21 and $500,000 in 2021-22 and 2022-23.
“We wanted to recognize the good success that he’s had and make sure Monte stays here,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “He’s happy with us and we’re incredibly happy with him.”
Lee came to Clemson by way of College of Charleston for the 2016 season and has an 86-41 overall record with the Tigers through his first two seasons. The 86 wins are tied for 12th most in the nation for that time period and he has led Clemson to NCAA Tournament Regionals at home in each of his two years.
The Board of Trustees also approved the baseball team’s request to create a new position: director of player development. Who will fill that role will be announced Friday and the position will run through August of 2018.
In terms of incentives, Lee will earn $15,000 if season tickets sales are at least 2,500 and an additional $15,000 if season tickets sales rank in the top 10 in the nation. He earns $2,500 for each ACC Tournament win (four maximum) and an additional $10,000 for an ACC Tournament Championship. Should the Tigers host an NCAA Regional again, Lee would earn $10,000. He gets $5,000 per win in a regional, $5,000 for appearing in Super Regional, $10,000 for each Super Regional victory, $5,000 for a College World Series appearance, $10,000 for each College World series win and $80,000 if the Tigers win the whole thing and are crowned the College World Series champions.
Should the baseball team have an Academic Progress Rate of at least 965, that's $5,000 more in the bank for Lee. He also has a sports membership at The Reserve Country Club and Clemson pays for a car. If the Tigers make the College World Series in 2018, Lee would get an automatic contract extension without requiring negotiation.
"I'm extremely appreciative for the support of our administration, including Dan Radakovich, president (Jim) Clements and the Board of Trustees," Lee said in a statement. "We've had two great years at Clemson and are excited to continue to build upon the achievements in future seasons."
Should the university terminate Lee before his contract ends without cause, it would owe him $1.35 million in Year 1, $1.125 million in Year 2, $900,000 in Year 3, $675,000 in Year 4, $500,000 in Year 5 and $250,000 in Year 6. Should Lee want to leave on his own terms before the end of his contract, he would owe the university $675,000 in Year 1, $562,500 in Year 2, $450,000 in Year 3, $337,500 in Year 4, $250,000 in Year 5 and $125,000 in Year 6. Both the university and Lee's respective buyouts would be prorated if the termination occurred after the first day of the contract year.
Radakovich said he looked at the market around college baseball to ensure that Lee’s pay was competitive. New South Carolina coach Mark Kingston is set to make $600,000 in his first year with the Gamecocks.
“The market is important for us. I would probably say that Monte’s in the top half, maybe top quarter of the Atlantic Coast Conference, so we wanted to make sure to keep the salary competitive,” Radakovich said. “There are some benchmarks that we need to continue to hit as a program, but right now, given the success of the first couple years, we wanted to extend (Lee’s contract).”
Radakovich also gave an update on Clemson's status in starting a softball program, one that has a target date to begin play in 2020. The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the first phase of the project Friday with approval pending. There are eight total phases, and Phase 1 would give Clemson the green light to hire an architect for a facility. Phase 2, which will likely come to fruition in the coming months, would approve the full construction of the facility, which is tentatively planned to be behind left field of Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Radakovich is in the process of vetting candidates for the head coach position and is optimistic about a future timeline.
"We have the head coach’s position posted. We are starting to gather applications. We’ll look probably in the next two weeks to look at the pool, talk to some folks in the business," Radakovich said. "We’d love to have somebody hired before the end of the calendar year. That’s been our goal and hopefully we’ll be able to make it."