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Jul 21, 2022

Clemson, Rittman Reach New Agreement

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson University and head softball coach John Rittman have agreed to a five-year contract extension through 2027, the athletic department announced Thursday. The terms of the contract were approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee.

“The speed in which Coach Rittman and his staff have elevated our softball program to national prominence has been so impactful to Clemson,” said Director of Athletics Graham Neff. “We are excited to watch this program flourish under Coach Rittman’s leadership at Clemson for years to come.”

“I am extremely honored and proud to be the Head Softball Coach at Clemson University,” said Rittman. “I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, President Clements, Director of Athletics Graham Neff, Associate Athletics Director Natalie Honnen and IPTAY for their continued support and commitment to me and our program. Clemson is such a special place, and I am so grateful to be able to work alongside such outstanding coaches, staff, players and alums. Together we have built a winning culture, and we will continue working hard to achieve all our goals both on and off the field.”

Rittman has compiled a 105-33 record over the first three seasons of the Clemson softball program, including posting a 62-11 record at McWhorter Stadium. Rittman was named the 2021 ACC Coach of the Year and guided the Tigers to become 2021 ACC Regular Season Champions, advanced to the 2021 and 2022 ACC Championship games and made two NCAA Postseason appearances.

Most recently, Clemson hosted the 2022 Clemson NCAA Softball Regional where the softball team swept the regional against Auburn, Louisiana and UNC Wilmington after scoring 18 runs while shutting out opponents in every game and run-ruling Louisiana and UNCW. The Tigers advanced to the program’s first Super Regional taking on Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.

With Rittman at the helm, the Tigers have propelled themselves to new heights each year. During the 2022 season, Clemson upset then-No. 6 Washington, 2-0, to mark the program’s first top-10 win. The Tigers later went on to upset then-No. 2 Virginia Tech, 4-1, in the ACC Championship semifinals to mark the highest victory over a ranked opponent.

Clemson followed that by playing its 100th game in program history and tied Clemson women’s tennis for the most wins through a program’s first 100 games with a 78-22 record. With that record, Rittman solidified himself as the winningest coach among active head coaches at Clemson surpassing Dabo Swinney, who held a 74-26 record. The Tigers continued to reach new levels by winning their 100th game in only 130 games on May 1 with a 3-2 win against Georgia Tech on Senior Day to become the second-fastest program at Clemson to reach 100 wins trailing only women’s tennis (128).

Under Rittman’s direction, the softball program has 14 All-ACC selections, 14 All-ACC Academic selections and 61 ACC Academic Honor Roll honorees. Valerie Cagle is a two-time NFCA All-American and graduate Sam Russ was named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America Third Team to become softball’s first Academic All-American. Three Tigers have also been awarded the Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Scholarship Award from the ACC.