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You can't fault a man, just 39, for exploring his options.

But Erik Bakich has decided that is heart is at Michigan, and he will remain the Wolverines' head baseball coach, he told The News on Wednesday night. Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com first reported that Bakich would return.

Bakich later tweeted his commitment to Michigan, concluding the note with Bo Schembechler's famous rallying cry, "Those who stay will be champions."

Bakich is a serious up-and-comer in college baseball circles, and recently drew serious interest from two big-time programs, South Carolina and Stanford.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel told The News on Tuesday that the school has on the table a five-year extension offer, one he'll presumably now sign.

Bakich just completed his fifth and most successful season at Michigan, leading the Wolverines to a 42-17 record and a second NCAA Tournament appearance in three seasons. He is 176-119-1 at Michigan.

This week, he saw 11 members of the 2017 team selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, shattering the program's record of seven, set in 1988 and matched in 2005. He's had 23 draft picks in all during his Michigan tenure.

Prior to coming to Michigan, the former East Carolina baseball standout was the head coach at Maryland for three years.

Bakich's first order of business after deciding to stay will be to hire a pitching coach. Sean Kenny, on his staff since 2013, took the same position at Georgia this month.

South Carolina is looking to replace Chad Holbrook, who resigned, and Stanford is looking for a successor to Mark Marquess, who retired. Each program has won two national championships.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984

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