Legendary Florida State coach Mike Martin on Saturday matched Augie Garrido’s all-time wins record with a 10-1 victory by his No. 17 Seminoles against Miami. The victory was the 1,975th of Martin’s career.
Martin, 74, is in his 39th season as head coach at Florida State, his alma mater, and his career record stands at 1,975-707-4. He reached 1,975 victories in 249 fewer games than Garrido, who died last month. Martin and Garrido are the only Division I coaches to ever top 1,800 wins. Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson is third on the all-time list with 1,768 wins. Martin’s opponent on Saturday, Miami’s Jim Morris, is second among active coaches with 1,583 wins.
Martin said he couldn’t play down the accomplishment but wanted to spread around the credit.
“I’m so proud to be a Florida State Seminole,” Martin said. “What has been accomplished is Florida State’s accomplishment because I just got an opportunity to work for this great university and I’m surrounded by people who have done so much to keep this program moving upward. It takes so many people for a program to move upward.”
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.
Even after all of his success and on the day he matched Garrido as the all-time winningest coach, Martin remains focused on finding ways for his team to improve.
“It’s still fun,” he said. “Still see so many things that bug me. Daggum, some of the things we’ve done in the last couple of nights. But we’ve got to get better, we’ve got to keep working.”
Florida State (31-13) eased to victory Saturday after jumping out to an early lead against Miami (17-25) for the second game in a row. The Seminoles scored an unearned run in the first inning and never looked back. They broke the game open late thanks in part to a prodigious home run from sophomore Drew Mendoza, who showcased the plus raw power that figures to make him a first-round pick next year.
Freshman righthander C.J. Van Eyk, making just his second start in Atlantic Coast Conference play, was outstanding for the Seminoles. He threw seven scoreless innings before giving up a leadoff home run to Raymond Gil in the eighth inning, the first run the Hurricanes had scored all weekend. Van Eyk finished the night with a career-high 10 strikeouts and scattered seven hits and a walk in 7.1 innings.
“Van Eyk did not pitch well just a week ago and yet today he goes out against a very good Miami team and throws 99 pitches and strikes out 10,” Martin said. “That’s impressive stuff.”
With the victory, Florida State clinched the series win and stayed within striking distance of No. 14 Clemson, which leads the Atlantic Division.
Much of the focus Sunday in Tallahassee will be on Martin’s pursuit of becoming the all-time winningest NCAA college baseball coach. Martin, however, is focused on completing the sweep as the Seminoles continue to work to position themselves to host a regional.
“We’ve just got to go out tomorrow and understand the importance of the game is positioning ourselves to possibly host,” Martin said. “Let’s just hope that we can play solid baseball.”