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Florida State Fires Mike Martin Jr. After Three Seasons



Florida State on Friday fired Mike Martin Jr. after three seasons as coach.

Martin Jr. took over as head coach following the 2019 season, when Mike Martin Sr. retired after 40 years. The Seminoles went 77-54 over the last three seasons and made the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons (the event was canceled in 2020). While Florida State did make regionals, it both times went 1-2 as a No. 3 seed, failing to advance even to regional finals. It is the first time since a stretch from 1981-85 that the Seminoles have not advanced past regionals in back-to-back years.

Still, even for a program as successful as Florida State—which holds the longest streak of consecutive regional appearances (44), has made the NCAA Tournament more than any team except Texas and has made the College World Series more times than any team except Texas and Miami—the decision to move on so quickly from Martin Jr. is a big one. He had one season remaining on his original four-year contract.

“Making the change with our baseball coach was not an easy decision, but it is our responsibility to put our student-athletes and our teams in the best position to reach their full potential, athletic director Michael Alford said in a statement. “Ultimately, the decision came down to whether our baseball program was performing up to the admittedly high standards that we have established through our historic success and I do not believe we were.”

Martin Jr. played at Florida State and spent 22 years as an assistant coach at his alma mater before being promoted to head coach in 2019. At the end of his run as an assistant, Florida State landed five straight top-five recruiting classes and in back-to-back years had the highest ranked recruiting class in the ACC. He also famously recommended Buster Posey move from shortstop to catcher, a decision that has paid huge dividends for Posey, who went on to a Hall of Fame trajectory as a catcher.

As a head coach, Martin Jr. was off to a 12-5 start when the 2020 season was canceled and had just beaten rival Florida in Gainesville. In 2021, the Seminoles went 31-24 and finished the season by going 1-2 in the Oxford Regional, losing to Mississippi and Southern Mississippi. In 2022, they were 34-25 and went 1-2 in the Auburn Regional, losing to Auburn and UCLA.

The firing marks the end of an era at Florida State, as a Martin has led the program for the last 43 years. Whoever is next up in Tallahassee may have strong ties to the program, but it won’t be a family affair anymore.

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