Monte Lee completed his seventh season as the College of Charleston head baseball coach in 2015, having guided the Cougars to a 276-145 (.656) overall record after averaging 39.4 wins per season since 2009.
In December of 2012, Lee was named one of Baseball America's Top 10 Head Coaches Under 40 in all of college baseball. He was also named to Perfect Game's Top 10 Rising Head Coaches list. In 2014, he reached his 200th career win at College of Charleston, becoming the fastest CofC coach to reach that milestone. In 2015, he was named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to a regular season title in their second season as members.
Lee joined the Cougars after spending the six seasons as an assistant at South Carolina under head coach Ray Tanner. He served as the Gamecocks' recruiting coordinator in his last season.
In his seven seasons at CofC, Lee has booked four trips to the NCAA Tournament, including back-to-back Regional finals appearances in 2014-15. In 2015, the Cougars beat Auburn twice to advance to the championship round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, and CofC championed the 2014 Gainesville Regional and earned a trip to the 2014 Lubbock Super Regional. He led Charleston to a CAA regular season title in 2015, CAA Tournament championship in 2014, and a Southern Conference regular season championship in 2012. His career winning percentage of .656 currently ranks in the top 20 among all active NCAA Division I coaches.
He has coached four conference Players of the Year, two conference Pitchers of the Year and two conference Freshmen of the Year. In his tenure, 24 different players have been drafted or signed free agent contracts. He has coached 14 All-Americans, including National Freshman of the Year Daniel Aldrich, Academic All-America First Teamer Matt Leeds, the 2012 Tom Walter College Baseball Inspiration Award winner Marty Gantt and 2014 NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year Bailey Ober.
Since the inception of the BBCOR bats in 2011, the Cougars rank third in the nation in total home runs (297). Over the last four seasons, CofC has also led its conference in staff ERA, setting a new program record with a 2.73 ERA in 2014.
In 2015, CofC earned at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament to advance through the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, ultimately falling in the championship game to Regional host and one-seed Florida State. The Cougars spent the final six weeks of the season ranked in all five polls recognized by the NCAA, climbing as high as No. 13, CofC’s highest ranking since the 2006 season.
Lee was named CAA Coach of the Year, joining Pitcher of the Year Taylor Clarke and Player of the Year/Defensive Player of the Year Blake Butler.
Despite opening 2014 with over 70 percent of innings departed from the year prior, College of Charleston went on to post a banner season with the program's best pitching and defense ever displayed en route to a CAA Tournament championship, a three-game sweep through the NCAA Gainesville Regional and a trip to the Lubbock Super Regional, just the second super regional appearance in program history.
College of Charleston opened the season with a series victory over then-no. 12 North Carolina and then used the dominant performances of a redshirt-sophomore and two freshmen on the weekend rotation to a 44-19 season. CofC swept the CAA Tournament by holding William & Mary, the nation's third-best offense, to just five runs in two games. The Cougars then defeated the NCAA Tournament's number two overall seed in Florida in the first game of the Gainesville Regional en route to the first-ever regional sweep by a four seed in NCAA Tournament history. Charleston suffered two heartbreaking 1-0 losses at No. 10 Texas Tech in the super regional round as Taylor Clarke and Bailey Ober allowed just one run apiece to the Big 12's best offense.
Ober finished the season with a 10-3 record and a 1.52 ERA, third-best all-time at CofC and tops among NCAA freshmen. He was awarded the NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year award and named a Freshman All-American. Gunnar Heidt led the team in hitting and was drafted in the 13th round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
College of Charleston overcame injuries in 2013 to finish with a 31-26 record and place second in the Southern Conference. It marked the fourth time that the Cougars placed third or higher in Lee’s five years at the helm as the Cougars have won 30 games in every season dating back to 2001. Freshman Carl Wise came on strong at the end of the season to earn NCBWA Freshman All-America honors, while senior Jake Zokan was selected in the ninth round of the MLB Draft, the eighth year with a top 10 draft selection in 11 seasons.
In 2012, College of Charleston won a share of the regular season SoCon title and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, playing in the Gainesville Regional. CofC finished 38-22 with wins over then-no. 8 South Carolina, Clemson and Coastal Carolina. The Cougars won the SoCon Player of the Year (Marty Gantt) and SoCon Pitcher of the Year (Christian Powell) together for the first time in school history. Gantt was named an ACBA Second Team All-American and Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American. The Cougars ranked fifth in the nation in home runs for the fourth consecutive season under Lee.
In 2011, College of Charleston went 39-22 and advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament. Standout freshman Daniel Aldrich and junior Matt Leeds both garnered significant national recognition. Aldrich was named Collegiate Baseball's National Freshman of the Year and NCBWA Freshman Player of the Year. He also garnered All-America honors from Louisville Slugger, NCBWA, ABCA/Rawlings, Baseball America and the CBI. Aldrich won the 2011 TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby. Leeds was an All-America honoree from Louisville Slugger, NCBWA, Baseball America and the CBI. Leeds also was a Capital Academic All-America First Team honoree.
In his second year at the helm of the Cougars' program, Lee led the Cougars to a 44-19 record and an appearance in the 2010 NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional final. It was the fourth time in program history that the Cougars tallied at least 40 wins in a single season. The Cougars placed in the top 10 of NCAA Division I rankings in home runs (5th), scoring (7th), runs (8th) and doubles (9th). The team's .698 winning percentage was also good for 16th in the country.
Lee led the Cougars to a 35-22 record in 2009, the school's sixth consecutive season of at least 35 wins. The Cougars ranked third in home runs, fourth in the nation in scoring, fourth in slugging percentage, fifth in doubles, ninth in batting average and second in sacrifice flies.
Lee played in 206 games during his career at College of Charleston from 1996 to 1999 before being the first position player drafted in school history by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 39th round of the 1999 MLB Draft. Lee, who earned all-district academic honors in 1999, hit .333 for his career. He tallied 240 career hits, scored 156 runs, added 50 doubles, six triples, 22 homers, 150 RBI with 88 walks and 66 stolen bases.
Lee ranks sixth on the school's all-time list for RBI, seventh in doubles, sixth in total bases, seventh in at bats, and eighth in games played. In the Fall of 2004, Lee was inducted as an inaugural member of the College of Charleston's Baseball Wall of Fame at Patriots Point Stadium.
Lee is one of just five Cougars to hit three homers in a game. Lee homered three times and drove in all of the College of Charleston runs in a 5-4 loss at South Carolina on Feb. 6, 1999.
After being selected by the Cardinals, Lee played with the New Jersey Cardinals in the New York-Penn League in 1999. He signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers the following year (2000) and played at Savannah of the South Atlantic League.
Lee earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the College of Charleston in 2000.
Lee began his coaching career as an assistant for two seasons, 2001-02, at Spartanburg Methodist Junior College. The 2001 Spartanburg Methodist club reached the NJCAA College World Series and the 2002 team set a school record with 51 wins. During summers of those two years he also worked with the South Carolina Diamond Devils AAU team, as an assistant in 2001 and as head coach in 2002.
He was an assistant coach at South Carolina from 2003-08, eventually working his way up to recruiting coordinator. While with the Gamecocks, Lee and USC went 266-130 with six NCAA regional appearance, four Super Regionals and two College World Series berths.
Born Monte Wesley Lee II, Feb. 9, 1977, in Spartanburg, S.C., Lee graduated from Lugoff-Elgin High School in 1995. He was a four-year baseball letterman in high school and also played football for two seasons.
Lee is married to Eryn Garn Lee, and between them they have 4 daughters: Madie, Shelby, Blaire, and Alexandria.
College of Charleston Head Coach
2015, 45-14 NCAA Tallahassee Regional, CAA regular season champions
2014, 44-19 NCAA Lubbock Super Regional, Gainesville Regional Champions, CAA Tournament Champions
2013, 31-26 SoCon Second Place
2012, 38-22 NCAA Gainesville Regional, SoCon Regular Season Champions (National rankings: 5th HR)
2011, 39-22 (National rankings: 2nd HR, 8th scoring, 4th slugging percentage, 7th walks, 6th SF)
2010, 44-19, NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional (National rankings: 5th HR, 7th scoring, 8th runs, 9th doubles, 14th BB, 16th W/L Pct.)
2009, 35-22 (National rankings: 3rd HR, 4th scoring, 4th slugging percentage, 5th doubles, 9th average, 2nd SF)
Totals, 276-145, .656
South Carolina's Record During Lee's Tenure as an assistant coach