Monte Lee to stay in Charleston; ASU does not extend offer

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The head Cougar is staying in Charleston. Monte Lee will not be the next head baseball coach at Arizona State University.

"There was no disappointment, no disappointment whatsoever. I'm in a great place, I'm in a great spot. A place I've always dreamed about being. That hasn't changed, nor will it change," he said.

Instead, the Sun Devils went with Indiana's Tracy Smith.

"I'm excited for Tracy Smith. He's a great hire, a great coach," said Lee in a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon.

ASU did interview Lee, but an offer was not extended. This is the second straight off-season Lee's name has been linked to a power program after the University of Georgia pursued him last season.

It is expected that Lee will sign a 7-year contract extension worth a reported $193,000 per year. Lee made around $115,000 last season.

Lee and the Cougars are coming off one of the best seasons in school history with 44 wins and a trip to just the second NCAA Super Regional appearance in school history. Lee has compiled a 231-130 record as head coach of the Cougars.

In Lee's six seasons as the head coach of his alma mater, the Cougars averaged more than 38 wins per season and made three NCAA tournament appearances. In that span, 21 players were drafted or signed free agent deals to play professional baseball.

In 2004, Lee was an inaugural member of the Wall of Fame at Patriots Point Stadium.

"I'm excited about what the future has for us here. One of the things that really drives me personally is trying to get CofC to Omaha. I think CofC can turn in to a place where you can go to the College World Series and I want to be a part of that. That's the big thing. Long term I want to be part of turning CofC into a top 25 program. That's my ultimate goal," he said.

A standout player at The College, Lee ranks amongst the top ten players all-time for RBI, doubles, total bases, and games played. He finished his career with a .333 batting average. Lee is one of just five Cougars to ever hit three home runs in a single game, which he did against South Carolina in 1999.

A 1999 draft pick of the Saint Louis Cardinals, Lee was the first position player drafted out of the College of Charleston. Lee played two seasons in the minor leagues before starting his coaching career as an assistant at Spartanburg Methodist Junior College in 2001.

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