CLEMSON, S.C.- An ability to recruit is key to the success of any program.
New baseball coach Erik Bakich comes to Clemson with a reputation for being a very strong recruiter. During the early stages of his coaching career, he worked with and under some extremely successful college baseball coaches, including Hall of Famer Jack Leggett, Tim Corbin and Kevin 'O Sullivan, as he honed and cultivated those recruiting skills.
He then went on to have successful head coaching stints at Maryland (2010-12) and Michigan (2013-2022), which included a trip to the College World Series in 2019.
Bakich knows what it takes to win at the highest level and has every intention of the Tigers having a widespread recruiting footprint, which all starts with attempting to attract the best players from the state of South Carolina.
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“Like dropping a rock into Lake Hartwell and watching the ripples,” Bakich said when asked about his recruiting strategy. “We will dominate the state of South Carolina and then we will attack the region. We’ll look at the entire Eastern seaboard from Maine down to Miami.
"We’ll target players around the country, whether it’s the Midwest or anywhere else that would fit the profile of a Clemson baseball player, the culture that we're going to be building. But it'll start with the state of South Carolina and move out from there."
Clemson has a long, storied tradition in baseball. However, the team has not appeared in a Super Regional since 2010 and missed the regionals altogether in 2022 for a second consecutive season, something that had not happened since the Ronald Reagan administration.
Now Bakich is charged with returning the Tigers to national prominence, and a big part of that will be recruiting. With what the program has to offer, Clemson's new head coach is confident that attracting talent won't be an issue.
“It’s one of the reasons you come to a school like Clemson," Bakich said. "You want the opportunity to play on the biggest stages and the brightest lights and against the best rivalries. We were able to experience that at Michigan with Ohio State and you just have to love that. You have to love competing in those types of environments."
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