Bakich intends to help Clemson compete for ACC, national titles 'right away, next year'

Bakich intends to help Clemson compete for ACC, national titles 'right away, next year'

Baseball

Bakich intends to help Clemson compete for ACC, national titles 'right away, next year'

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Erik Bakich doesn’t think Clemson Baseball needs to undergo a rebuild. Instead, the Tigers’ new head coach feels the program, which has a rich tradition and long history of success, simply needs to reload.

That’s what Bakich said recently on the Packer and Durham show on ACC Network, when asked what the first step to rebuilding the Clemson baseball program is.

“I don’t know if I would use the word ‘rebuild,’” Bakich said. “There are great players on this roster. You look at Max Wagner, the ACC Player of the Year last year. And Clemson was just so close last year from getting into the tournament, and when you get into the tournament, anything can happen. I think Clemson is a place you just reload.”

Bakich is tasked with trying to get Clemson back to the point where it’s meeting the high standard and expectation level for a program that has won an ACC-high 10 ACC Tournament titles in history and made it to the College World Series a dozen times.

The Tigers, who are coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament misses, haven’t been to the College World Series since 2010 and most recently won the ACC Tournament in 2016, when it beat Florida State 18-13 in the title game.

But Bakich — who returns to Tiger Town after starting his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Clemson under head coach Jack Leggett and alongside Tim Corbin and Kevin O’Sullivan at Clemson in 2002, when the Tigers had a 54-17 record and advanced to the College World Series — believes Clemson has the pieces in place to compete for ACC and national titles right off the bat in his first season as the Tigers’ head coach in 2023.

Bakich thinks the Tigers just have to put those pieces together in order to make that happen, and he intends to do just that.

“The tradition and the history and everything here is set, the infrastructure is set,” Bakich said. “So, right now, step one is a needs assessment of what can we do from a recruiting standpoint? Before that, it’s finalizing a coaching staff.

“But Clemson Baseball is not a rebuild – it’s a reload, and we are going to put some pieces together so that we’re competing for ACC and national championships right away, next year.”

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