The Clemson Tigers have a new baseball program leader. The school has announced Erik Bakic as the 28th school coach in baseball history. Bakic comes from Michigan, where he spent the last 10 years as the Wolverine’s head coach. Prior to Michigan, Bakic was head coach at Maryland from 2010 to 2012 and worked as an assistant at Vanderbilt from 2003 to 2009.
Clemson athletic director Graham Neff released a hiring statement.
“We are delighted to welcome Eric, Jiffy and their three children back to the Clemson family” Neff said. “Eric impressed us with his integrity, his approach to running the program, and his emphasis on the student-athlete experience. He is well aware of the expectations at Clemson, which he contributed to through his role on the 2002 team and working alongside Jack Leggett, Tim Corbin and Kevin O’Sullivan, among others. I have confidence in Eric’s ability to fight for the ACC title and get back to Omaha and do it right.”
Bakic mentioned how excited he was to be back with the Tigers.
“Our family is thrilled to be joining the Clemson Athletics family and immersing ourselves in the local community.” Bakic said. “I was honored to wear the Clemson uniform 20 years ago as a young coach on Jack Leggett’s staff. I am always grateful and very grateful for the opportunity to start coaching at Clemson, surrounded by three Hall of Famers and a record-breaking team. I am honored to serve as the custodian of this legendary tradition and to help bring Clemson Baseball back to prominence by playing in the ACC Championships, trips to Omaha and our first national championship.”
In 2019, Bakic won National Coach of the Year after leading Michigan to the College World Series Finals with a 50-22 finish that season. He also led the Wolverine to the NCAA Tournament in 2015, 17, 21 and 22.
He also won two Big Ten Tournament titles (2015 and 22) in Michigan. During his career, Bakic holds a 398-314 career record in Maryland and Michigan.
Bakic began his playing career at San Jose City College before moving to East Carolina for two years (1999 and 2000). As an outfielder, Bakic hit .315, 14 home runs, and 85 RBIs in his two years with the Pirates.
Bakic replaces the outgoing Monte Li, who was fired at the conclusion of the Tigers’ 2022 campaign. Clemson went 35-23 but failed to play in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.