Report: Jack Leggett will return for 22nd season as Tigers' head coach

Nothing has been finalized at this point, and there has been no official confirmation

Clemson's NCAA Regional Tournament game against Xavier at Vanderbilt University's Hawkins Field  in Nashville - Bradley LeCroy & Jack Leggett

Clemson's NCAA Regional Tournament game against Xavier at Vanderbilt University's Hawkins Field in Nashville - Bradley LeCroy & Jack Leggett

Following a lengthy meeting on Wednesday between Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett and athletic director Dan Radakovich, all signs point to the Tigers' veteran coach returning to the helm for the 2015 season.

The Clemson Insider, one of the websites covering the Tiger athletic program, is reporting that Leggett will be back for his 22nd season, and cites multiple, unnamed multiple sources in its report.

Nothing has been finalized at this point, however, and there has been no official confirmation of the TCI report. Also, there's been no word on possible changes to Leggett's contract or the status of his coaching staff.

The 60-year-old Hall of Fame coach has two years remaining on a five-year contract that pays him $400,000 per season. His last contract extension came after the 2011 season.

Leggett has come under pressure from disgruntled fans after a recent decline in Clemson's NCAA and ACC tournament success, and a poor record against the top teams on the Tigers' schedule, including South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida State.

Over the past 10 seasons, the Tigers are 17-28 against South Carolina, 6-25 against Virginia, 9-20 against UNC and 18-18 against Florida State, for a combined total of 50-91 and a winning percentage of .354.

Since their last trip to Omaha in 2010, the Tigers have gone 5-8 in NCAA tournament play, and since winning the ACC tournament in 2006, have a 10-14 record in that event.

As the 2014 season progressed and the Tigers' ACC record tumbled toward the .500 mark, fan attendance at Doug Kingsmore Stadium dropped off sharply.

Leggett took issue with fan and media criticism, chastising fans for "bailing" and countering questions about the Tigers' recent slide by pointing to his long-term record and history of success.

Leggett has won 1,300 games as a head coach, including 923 in 21 years at Clemson. The Tigers have made the NCAA tournament 20 times under his leadership.

The Tigers slipped into this year's NCAA tournament with one of the final at-large bids, but went two-and-out, losing to Oregon 18-1 and unheralded Xavier 6-4.

Asked following the Xavier game if he was confident that he'll be back next season as the Tigers' head coach, Leggett replied, "I would like to think that's a ridiculous question."

The next day, Radakovich issued the following statement about the baseball program:

"This baseball season did not end as we all had hoped. I will be speaking with Jack in the next few days to talk about the path ahead for our program. While we again advanced to the NCAA tournament, we can and will look to do more."

The two men met on Wednesday afternoon for about two and a half hours, and both later described their discussion as "productive."

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Comments » 13

lwb1946 writes:

Well, another wasted year we will have to put up with him. It's time for him to go. Clemson is only putting off for another year a chance to move our Baseball Program forward. This is similar to what happened with Tommy Bowden. Bowden should have gone sooner and this is the same for Leggett. Leggett has been here for going on twenty two years plenty of time to have a great program year in and year out yet for several years we have been struggling beating some of the teams we need to be beating. Again, another wasted year coming up that is just putting off what should have already happened.

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to lwb1946:

Well, another wasted year we will have to put up with him. It's time for him to go. Clemson is only putting off for another year a chance to move our Baseball Program forward. This is similar to what happened with Tommy Bowden. Bowden should have gone sooner and this is the same for Leggett. Leggett has been here for going on twenty two years plenty of time to have a great program year in and year out yet for several years we have been struggling beating some of the teams we need to be beating. Again, another wasted year coming up that is just putting off what should have already happened.

Oh yeah, just like Tommy Bowden... if Tommy Bowden was 1 of the winningest active coaches in college football.

I have a great idea. You should hire a coach who has had limited success and after a few years when he doesn't achieve the same level of success as his predecessor, give him a 6-year contract with a 3-5 million dollar buyout. You know, like you did with basketball.

TigerNE writes:

More odd comparisons to Bowden. Not even close.

What is more important to me than giving Leggett a contract extension, even though the details are not yet spelled out to the public, is exactly how Radakovich is going to help the sport solve some of its problems that impact recruiting. All of the financial and facility stuff. Some of it is known already.

What gives me hope in this situation is that Radakovich has already proven he can be and wants to be more aggressive than others. It's possible he sees this as his final place to make a name before retiring so he will continue to do big things. As big as you can with the limitations Clemson has - which is not being negative but just realistic.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

Comparisons between one coach in one sport and another in a different sport as far as how long you let them “slide” so to speak is basically the same in principle. Remember in '77 and '78 how good we were in football? What about '79 and '80 does anyone remember how lousy we were? Then what happened? Granted, that was when Danny first started but I clearly remember people saying we hired the wrong guy. They changed their tune after the '81 season and from then until he left and for many years after Danny left people were mad. As fans, we have become accustomed to having a top ten baseball team and to lose like we have for 3 or 4 years now as stirred the ire in many, many fans. Remember, it's the AD's job to hire and fire. We can only express our opinion and while they matter to a small degree, fans do not drive the decision of the AD to fire a coach. Jack deserves at least one more year to try and get things back to normal. Another year in the grand scheme of things makes no difference. We should support him and the team and let's just see what happens next season.

brookesdad729 writes:

Although I would like to see a change, I would like to see him go out by retiring and not being fired. I do believe this is his last season coming up and he and "Rad" I'm sure have discussed that. Anchor up and pray for the best.

urangefevr writes:

That is fantastic news for my bank account. It should save me at least $3000 on season tickets, rooms, meals, gas, iptay donations etc.

35802tiger writes:

I would have preferred to see him gone and see next year as continuing the losing slide. However, I will continue to support Clemson baseball, including our coach. Hopefully, the AD established some metrics by which he and Coach Leggett understand the criteria for success. You can only ride your career coaching record for so long.

33dtb writes:

......"fans do not drive the decision of the AD to fire a coach."........

buttocks in the seats eventually do tho.

CstandsforCowtown writes:

Does he get a six year extension if Clemson can advance to a super regional next year?

Bigboots writes:

Rad to fans: I hear you, but (bleep) you. Baseball doesn't really matter.

SoCalTiger writes:

in response to Bigboots:

Rad to fans: I hear you, but (bleep) you. Baseball doesn't really matter.

And basketball doesn't really matter either.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

in response to 35802tiger:

I would have preferred to see him gone and see next year as continuing the losing slide. However, I will continue to support Clemson baseball, including our coach. Hopefully, the AD established some metrics by which he and Coach Leggett understand the criteria for success. You can only ride your career coaching record for so long.

You make a couple of excellent points in your comment. You can love a good race horse but sooner or later all he will do is graze out in a big pasture. Not a good analogy but what you said is exactly right with regards to Jack or any other coach in any other sport. It's just a matter of how long do you let "him or her" slide on their prior success? It's a very touchy subject and I am glad I do not have to make the decision on any coach...usually!!! Good comments on the subject.

lwb1946 writes:

Folks, I believe Jack is going on his twenty second year. It's not like he has to rebuild a program. Our program should be a top program year in and year out for the most part yet that is not the trend in the last few years. For what ever reason I believe Jack has lost the fire to be a good coach. Over time that happens sometimes and coaches just burn out and lose the drive they need to make winning their priority. Now, no matter what we think Jack will be back so we will all get to see how it works out but I will be highly surprised if our program is much better next year. Some folks say another year won't make any difference but by wasting another year to see what happens I think will only delay what I believe is evident and that is Jack needs to go. And, don't feel bad for Jack. He has had a good career and has plenty of money to live comfortable the rest of his life even if he never works again. One thing about it we will all get to see who was right because Jack will be back.

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