Erik Bakich hopes to stay close to all of his Michigan baseball players. Bakich, who left U-M for Clemson, was formally introduced as the head coach of the Tigers on Thursday.

He shared his farewell message to his former team during Thursday’s introductory press conference at Clemson.

“I told them I loved them,” Bakich said, per Tony Paul of The Detroit News. “Relationships transcend geography and location. … It doesn’t mean I love them any less and I won’t continue to be in their lives. … Just because I’m not there doesn’t mean I’m not with them or not speaking with them or not involved with them. I hope to be at all their weddings someday.

“That’s the hardest part of leaving, the players you are leaving and the relationships. It’s important to continue those.”

Paul details that Bakich signed a 6-year contract worth $6.25 million in salary along with a $400,000 signing bonus. Bakich was making over $500,000 a year at U-M.