College of Charleston baseball coach Monte Lee met with Clemson officials earlier this week and will officially interview for the school’s vacant head coaching position Friday, The Post and Courier has learned.
Clemson officials were in Charleston on Tuesday to talk with Lee about the position, but the official interview will not be held until Friday, an athletic department source confirmed.
When reached by phone, Lee declined to comment.
Lee, 38, is 276-145 in seven seasons at the College of Charleston and has led the Cougars to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back regional appearances in 2014 and 2015. Charleston won the 2014 Gainesville Regional and advanced to the Lubbock Super Regional, losing back-to-back 1-0 games to Texas Tech.
It was only the second NCAA Super Regional in school history.
The Cougars are coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, going 45-14 and winning the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title.
The Cougars spent the final six weeks of the season ranked in all five polls recognized by the NCAA, climbing as high as No. 13, the program’s highest ranking since 2006. The Cougars did it without two of their top starting pitchers — Bailey Ober and Tyler Thornton. The Cougars were eventually eliminated by Florida State in the championship round of the Tallahassee Regional.
The Tigers are looking to replace Jack Leggett, who was fired last week after 24 overall seasons at the school. Leggett, 61, won 955 games at Clemson and led the Tigers to six College World Series appearances in 22 season as the Tigers head coach. However, Clemson had not been to the world series since 2010, were just 5-10 in their last five NCAA appearances, and had not hosted a regional since 2011.
The Tigers were 32-29 this past season, losing both games at the Fullerton Regional last weekend.
This is the second straight year that Lee has interviewed for another head coaching position with a major conference. Lee interviewed for the Arizona State head coaching vacancy last summer.
Lee signed a contract extension last June that will keep him at his alma mater until 2020. He made $193,000 in 2015 and his contract has a $75,000 buyout clause.
Leggett’s deal paid him $400,000 annually.
Other candidates that are expected to be interviewed are Maryland head coach John Szefc, current Clemson assistant coach Bradley LeCroy and Virginia associate head coach Kevin McMullan.
Lee played in 206 games during his career at the College of Charleston from 1996-99 before becoming the first position player drafted in school history by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 39th round of the 1999 Major League Draft. Lee hit .333 for his career with 22 home runs and 150 RBIs.