Entering his 18th season as an assistant coach, Mike Martin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the bright young coaches in the college game. A former All-American catcher with the Seminoles, he serves as recruiting coordinator, works with the hitters and handles the Florida State catchers.
Under his 17-year guidance, the Seminoles have batted .309, slugged .482 and averaged 7.97 runs per game. Florida State has played in six College World Series, 13 Super Regionals and 17 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. As the academic liaison, the Seminoles captured the Gold Torch Award in 2007 and 2008, positing the highest GPA among all men’s teams at Florida State. Two players have been named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year, five Seminoles have garnered Academic All-America accolades and five times an FSU student has been named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year including the last four – James Ramsey (2011 & 2012) and Gage Smith (2013 & 2014). The Seminoles have placed 54 student-athletes on the All-ACC Academic Team since the awards inception in 2006 including a school-record nine in 2012.
Martin has coached 12 Major Leaguers, 12 Freshman All-Americans, 19 first team All-Americans and 31 student-athletes who have earned first, second or third team All-American accolades. In all, 58 Seminoles have earned All-ACC honors and 52 hitters have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft during that stretch. Four Seminole hitters have captured National Player of the Year honors including Shane Robinson, Tony Thomas, Buster Posey and most recently James Ramsey in 2012.
Serving as FSU’s hitting coach over the last 17 years, the Seminoles have batted .300 or better 11 times and posted an on-base percentage of at least .400 15 times. Six of the top 11 hitting teams in FSU history have come under Martin’s watch. In 2009, he was named ACC Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com, while being named one of 10 rising assistant coaches in the game by Perfect Game USA in 2013.
The Seminoles’ offensive success is rooted in Martin’s philosophy, which emphasizes discipline at the plate and using the entire field as a hitting area. He has also instituted the use of wood bats in practice.
The 2007 and 2008 Seminoles established new school records for highest team batting average. In 2007, the Seminoles hit .350 in 62 games, shattering the previous record of .337 set in 63 games back in 1980. It also broke the ACC record of .347, set by Georgia Tech in 2001. The new standards stood for just one season as the 2008 Seminoles hit .355 over 68 games, leading the nation, as the Seminoles advanced to the College World Series.
The 2008 team was prolific offensively on every front. FSU’s 869 hits ranks second in school history and its 12.8 hits per game established a new program standard. The Seminoles’ 103 home runs were the most since belting 111 in 1999, while the .565 slugging percentage ranks second in school history. The ‘Noles also scored 663 runs, recorded 603 RBI and notched 45 sacrifice flies, all of which rank among the top three seasons in program history. Much of the success can be attributed to demonstrating patience at the plate, where the Seminoles drew a nation-leading 435 walks and were the only team in the country with fewer strikeouts than walks. Overall, the 2008 team led the nation in hits, runs and walks and ranked among the top five in doubles (2nd), sacrifice flies (2nd), scoring (3rd), slugging percentage (3rd) and home runs (5th).
In 2009, the Seminoles topped the .320 hitting mark for a third consecutive season and finished second in the ACC with a .321 average. FSU led the league in on-base percentage, runs, RBI, doubles, total bases, walks and sacrifice flies. The Seminoles ranked among the top 10 teams in seven offensive categories, leading NCAA Division I programs with 46 sacrifice flies while ranking second in walks and doubles. He was recognized by SEBaseball.com as the ACC Assistant Coach of the Year at seasons end.
Though not prolific, the 2010 Seminoles remained incredibly productive offensively, thanks in large part to their plate discipline and sense of timing. While the ‘Noles batted .300, they led the nation in base on balls (402), ranked third in sacrifice flies (44) and consequently, finished 14th in runs scored (543). They also finished 22nd in doubles (147) and 23rd in home runs (86). With the propensity to put together big innings and a never-quit attitude which produced four walk-off victories, FSU won an ACC championship and advanced to the College World Series authoring a 48-20 final record.
Despite the 2011 bat restrictions, which has had a dramatic effect on offensive numbers across the nation, Florida State has ranked among the best in the country in terms of getting on base and manufacturing runs during that span. In each of the last four seasons, the Seminoles have finished the year ranked in the top 30 in scoring, runs scored, doubles, doubles per game, walks and hit-by-pitches. Over that four-year stretch, Florida State ranks sixth nationally in scoring averaging 6.88 runs per game and is the only school in the nation to rank in the top 22 nationally in that category in each of the last four years. FSU has finished no lower than third in walks since 2008 leading the nation five times during that seven-year span including 2008 (435), 2010 (402), 2011 (381), 2012 (386) and 2014 (330). In 2014, the Seminoles led the ACC and ranked in the top 20 nationally in walks, on-base percentage (.391), runs (393), sacrifice flies (42) and scoring (6.6).
The Seminoles’ statistical success – collectively and individually - is a tribute to Martin’s communication and teaching skills. It’s the area of player development which helps set Florida State apart from masses.
In need of a catcher heading into the 2007 season, the coaching staff turned to Freshman All-American shortstop Buster Posey. With Martin serving as his mentor, the athletically gifted Posey blossomed into a two-time All-American. A Johnny Bench Award finalist in 2007, he won the award presented to the nation’s top catcher as a junior in 2008. Under Martin’s tutelage, the Leesburg, Ga., native was awarded the 2008 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his outstanding defensive play from behind the plate. Posey posted a .989 career fielding percentage as a catcher, registered 12 pickoffs and held opposing runners at bay throwing out 40.8 percent of attempted base stealers.
In his final season, Posey, who set a single-season record by batting .463 in 2008, was the national leader in six offensive categories and just the fourth player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to win the Triple Crown.
In 2005, Robinson put together a school-record 40-game hitting streak and raised his average 147 points to a team-leading .427. He became the only FSU player to record more than 100 hits and 40 stolen bases in one season. Two years later, Tony Thomas, Jr. hit a career-high .430 – a 165-point improvement - while leading the nation in doubles per game (0.53). He became the first to record 30 doubles, 100 hits and 30 stolen bases in a single-season. Martin Jr. hit the ground running in his first season as an assistant helping both Brian Cox and Jeremy Salazar make major strides in their offensive production en route to All-America accolades in 1998. Cox raised his average 129 points during his senior season leading the team in average (.393), hits (112) and doubles (27). Salazar hit .337 as a senior, compared to a .297 average in 1997, with 19 home runs and 91 RBI.
Martin first distinguished himself as the Seminoles’ starting catcher from 1993-95, earning NCAA All-Tournament honors in each of his three seasons. He was the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Atlantic II Regional in 1994, leading the Seminoles to the College World Series and earning second team NCBWA All-America honors. He was selected to the 1995 NCAA Atlantic I Regional All-Tournament Team as the Seminoles returned to Omaha for the second straight year. In 1993, Martin was a member of Team USA. He was drafted out of college by San Diego in the ninth round in 1995.
He began his collegiate career in 1992 at Manatee Community College, where he earned All-Conference honors. The Tallahassee native graduated from Maclay High School, where he captained the 1991 state championship team as a senior and had his No. 10 jersey retired. He was drafted as a shortstop out of high school by Seattle in the 31st round.
Martin Jr. married the former Litzie Andrade on November 27, 1999. They have two sons, Tyler (13) and T.J. (11), who are fixtures in the dugout, with their father and Hall of Fame grandfather, Florida State head coach Mike Martin.
MARTIN, JR. BY THE NUMBERS
Team’s batting average since 1998: .309
Team batting average in postseason since 1998: .321
Team’s slugging percentage since 1998: .482
Team’s on-base percentage since 1998: .415
Average home runs per game: 1.06
Average runs per game: 7.97
Average runs per game postseason: 8.62
All-Americans (first, second, third team): 31
Hitters drafted: 52
All-ACC Selections: 58
Top 30 Nat’l Scoring Offenses since 1998: 12
(numbers reflected through 2014 season)