Monte Lee squashed all the rumors and reports on Friday that he was a candidate for the South Carolina job.
The Clemson head baseball coach told reporters during his end of the year press gathering inside the new baseball facility that he has not been contacted by his former boss, South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner, about the head coaching position in Columbia and if he ever did, he has no intentions of leaving Clemson.
“I am very happy at Clemson,” Lee said. “I do not anticipate going anywhere for anytime soon. If Clemson wants to have me as its head coach then this is where I want to be. So no, he has not reached out to me about the South Carolina job.”
Lee cut his teeth as a baseball coach at South Carolina when he served under Tanner for six seasons, helping his old boss to two College World Series appearances in 2003 and ’04. The Gamecocks also participated in two Super Regionals while Lee was in Columbia. He was Tanner’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator in his last season there before leaving for the head coaching job at the College of Charleston in 2009, where he spent seven seasons before coming to Clemson in 2015.
“Ray Tanner is a good friend of mine,” Lee said. “Ray Tanner is obviously somebody that I obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for. I talk to Ray from time to time. We will call to just check in with each other just to see how each other is doing.”
“Ray is somebody I respect,” Lee later continued. “I’m sure they are going to find the right guy whoever that is. He is one of the best (athletic directors) in the business and is someone I respect a lot and have a great relationship and friendship with.”
The Gamecocks are of course looking for a new head coach after Chad Holbrook and the school agreed to part ways last week. When Holbrook was first let go, rumors started flying that Tanner was targeting Lee to be his new coach. Then an article in The State (Columbia) Newspaper on June 7 indicated that Lee would listen to Tanner if the Gamecocks decide to call.
However, as Lee reported on Friday, that is not the case. The Gamecocks have not called and he is not leaving Clemson.