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Clemson hires Michigan’s Bakich to revive baseball program

June 16, 2022 GMT
Michigan head coach Erik Bakich returns to the dugout after arguing with the umpires following a play at first base against Rutgers in the first inning of the NCAA college Big Ten baseball championship game Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
Michigan head coach Erik Bakich returns to the dugout after arguing with the umpires following a play at first base against Rutgers in the first inning of the NCAA college Big Ten baseball championship game Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
Michigan head coach Erik Bakich returns to the dugout after arguing with the umpires following a play at first base against Rutgers in the first inning of the NCAA college Big Ten baseball championship game Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
Michigan head coach Erik Bakich returns to the dugout after arguing with the umpires following a play at first base against Rutgers in the first inning of the NCAA college Big Ten baseball championship game Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
Michigan head coach Erik Bakich returns to the dugout after arguing with the umpires following a play at first base against Rutgers in the first inning of the NCAA college Big Ten baseball championship game Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson has hired Michigan’s Erik Bakich to revive a baseball program that had missed two straight NCAA Tournaments for the first time in more than three decades.

Bakich replaced Monte Lee, who was fired after seven seasons.

The school announced Bakich’s hiring Thursday. His six-year contract was approved by the school’s board of trustees. Bakich will receive $850,000 next season with his salary increasing $50,000 annually through 2027-28.

Bakich has led Michigan to five NCAA Tournament appearances since 2015 with the Wolverines finishing national runner-up in 2019. The team lost to Louisville in the NCAA Regional earlier this month.

Bakich hopes to recruit well and develop his players.

“Our program will aspire to add as much value to Clemson University and the Clemson athletic department as possible,” he said. “We’re all in.”

Bakich began his college coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Clemson in 2002. He was an assistant coach at Vanderbilt from 2003-09 before becoming Maryland’s head coach for three years and then going to Michigan in 2012.

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Bakich’s mission is clear — returning Clemson to the NCAAs. The Tigers had been to 32 of 33 tournaments between 1987 and 2019.

“I am confident in Erik’s ability to compete for ACC Championships and return to Omaha, and do it the right way,” Clemson first-year athletic director Graham Neff said in a statement.

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