Erik Bakich is officially the new head coach of Clemson Basbeball.
Outside of a few exceptions, the general feeling among the fan base is that Graham Neff knocked it out of the park with the hiring of Bakich, who learned under former Clemson head coach Jack Leggett and Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin, before taking over a struggling Maryland program prior to the 2010 season.
In three seasons, Bakich turned the Terps completely around before taking the head coaching job at Michigan, where he took the Wolverines to within one win of a national title in 2019.
Count ESPN analyst Kevin Rooney as another person who thinks Clemson and Bakich are the perfect match.
“Love it. Home run hire,” Rooney said on the Friday edition of The Packer and Durham Show on the ACC Network.
Bakich started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant on Leggett’s staff at Clemson in 2002. He then spent six seasons on Corbin’s staff at Vanderbilt, before becoming a head coach.
“Erik Bakich did an incredible job at Maryland before Michigan,” Rooney said. “As you mentioned, Michigan (went to) Game 3 of the finals. He took a Big Ten team to Game 3 of the College World Series finals in 2019. Not 1950, not 1975, not 1984, like, in this modern era. Just an incredible job. And the other thing is Erik Bakich knows what it looks like at Clemson when it’s elite. He worked for Jack Leggett, he’s a Tim Corbin disciple.”
Bakich takes over for Monte Lee, who was fired after Clemson missed out on regional play for the second consecutive season. The first time that has happened at Clemson since the mid 1980s.
It’s a program with high expectations, despite not making it to a Super Regional since 2010, but Rooney thinks Bakich is the guy that could return the Tigers to national prominence.
“I think it was a home run hire. That’s a great hire.”
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