Florida State Announces Mike Martin Will Retire After 2019 Season
Florida State on Monday announced legendary head coach Mike Martin will retire following the 2019 season, which will be his 40th at the program’s helm.
Martin, 74, has been head coach at his alma mater since taking over the program in 1980 and this season become the winningest coach in college baseball history, breaking Augie Garrido’s record. Martin has compiled a 1,987-713-4 record, and he has led the Seminoles to at least 40 wins and an NCAA Tournament appearance every year of his career.
Martin’s contract expired at the end of this season and many around college baseball thought he might retire this year. Following Florida State’s stunning loss to Mississippi State in an elimination game in the Tallahassee Regional, Martin said he planned to meet with athletic director Stan Wilcox to discuss the future. Ultimately, they decided on one more season.
“I’m glad that they want me to continue coaching next season,” Martin said in a statement. “I thank all our former and current coaches, staff and most importantly our players for the consistent success of our baseball program. You don’t win at our level without student-athletes who dedicate themselves to playing as a team and playing for something more than themselves.”
Florida State has not announced a succession plan for Martin, though the expectation around the coaching ranks has been that it will stay in-house for its next coach. The Seminoles' assistants are recruiting coordinator Mike Martin Jr. and pitching coach Mike Bell, who both played for Martin and are well respected as coaches.
Florida State has been a model of consistency under Martin, the 2012 Coach of the Year. The Seminoles have won at least 40 games for 40 consecutive seasons, a streak that began when Martin was an assistant coach. They have reached the College World Series 16 times, including last season, and while they have never won the national title, they have twice finished as runners-up. Martin has coached three Players of the Year and numerous big leaguers, including Buster Posey and J.D. Drew.
Martin is the latest coach in his generation to head for retirement. In recent years, coaches such as Garrido, Stanford’s Mark Marquess, UC Irvine’s Mike Gillespie and Miami’s Jim Morris, once an assistant under Martin, have all retired. All of them had won more than 1,000 games.
Martin will likely early next season become the first coach to win 2,000 games. His .736 winning percentage is the best among active coaches and his overall wins record seems unbreakable.
Martin will now have one more shot at winning the national championship that has eluded him and Florida State for so long. The Seminoles will need to replace some key pieces from this year’s team, which went 43-19 and was the No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State loses All-American catcher Cal Raleigh and starters Andrew Karp and Cole Sands, in addition to lefthander Tyler Holton, who was the team’s Opening Day starter but missed the rest of the year due to Tommy John surgery. The Seminoles return third baseman Drew Mendoza, who next year could be a first-round pick, and lefthander Drew Parrish, who emerged as the team’s best starter in Holton’s absence. They should again enter the season as one of the favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference and will be motivated to send Martin out on a high note.
Regardless of how next season transpires, Martin’s legacy in college baseball is already secured. As he prepares to exit the game, his impact on college baseball is sure to be celebrated over the next year.