Seven straight Top 10 finishes. Three consecutive trips to the College World Series. Seven straight 50-win seasons. Before Mike Martin's arrival in 1980, those accomplishments would not have been mentioned in the same sentence with Florida State baseball. Now, 21 years later, they define the program as Martin has built FSU into a national base-ball power. Martin's 2000 Seminoles continued all of those streaks — a current run that is unmatched by any school in the country. To do so, they had to come out of the loser's bracket in NCAA Regional play, defeat arch-rival Miami in what was regarded as the top Super Regional matchup, and rally from an opening round loss in the College World Series. The Seminoles' never-say-die attitude and oustanding character in the most difficult of times stem directly from their head coach.
Mike Martin's blood runs garnet through his heart of gold. The truest of Seminoles, Martin will celebrate his 22nd season as Florida State's head baseball coach in 2001.
No other man can claim a longer or more successful career as a Seminole than Martin. Martin has been associated with 29 of Florida State's 54 seasons of baseball — two as a player, five as an assistant coach and is preparing for his 22nd year at the helm of the Seminole baseball program.
Martin seems to outdo his accomplishments every season. He was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 1999 after his team won the ACC regular season with a 22-2 mark, the best regular season record in conference history. The
Seminoles finished second nationally in 1999 and followed with a No. 3 ranking last season. No school has finished the year ranked in the Top 10 more times (10) that Martin's Seminoles. His 2000 team reached the 50-win plateau for the 19th time in Martin's 21-year career.
The Seminole skipper earned his 1,000th victory in a 4-3 decision over Jacksonville on April 9th, 1998. He became the second fastest head coach to reach the 1,000-win mark in NCAA Division I baseball history.
Former FSU players, friends and Bullpen Club members honored Martin for his 1,000th win with a special ceremony and diamond-studded gold Rolex watch. Martin also garnered ACC Coach of the Year distinction from his peers for his efforts.
Martin guided his 1997 squad to the Seminoles' second Atlantic Coast Conference championship in the last three years, as his pitchers hurled four complete games in the five-game sweep.
In 1996, FSU's 19-5 ACC record and first ever first-place conference finish in the regular season earned Martin 1996 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors. His 1996 squad made history as they put together an FSU-record 22-game win streak and traveled to the College World Series for the third consecutive season, the first three-year streak in school history.
Martin has become a familiar face in Omaha, as he has guided 12 teams to the College World Series including six of his past eight squads. Seminole teams have been invited to the NCAA Regionals every season under Martin, 21 years of FSU's 23-year streak in the post-season. Martin ranks second among the nation's winningest active Division I coaches and ninth among winningest all-time Division I coaches with a .747 percentage.
Winning, however, has not been Martin's only goal in his brilliant career. He believes making a difference in his players' lives off the ball field, as well, is just as important as his win-loss record.
When the skinny kid from Charlotte transferred to FSU from Wingate Junior College in 1965 to play centerfield for the Seminoles, it was the beginning of a love affair that has never ended. His love for the game of baseball is matched only by the success he has had teaching it to aspiring players. He teaches the game with a fire and drive that has given Florida State perhaps the nation's very best all-around college baseball program. From the facilities to the coaching staff to the unequaled community support, Mike Martin has improved an already strong Seminole baseball tradition with every season.
Martin just keeps getting better and better. Just when it seems that the program can reach no higher plane, something bigger and better comes along. When Martin took over in 1980, it was taboo to mention the word Omaha around the ball club. No one wanted to jinx an FSU team that had made it to the College World Series only three times in the previous 15 seasons. After taking the Seminoles to that hallowed ground in his very first season, Martin would eventually make Omaha not only a household word, but a second home to the Seminoles. Martin has led the Tribe to the CWS 11 times in the last 15 years, including nine of the past 12 seasons.
In 1993 with his youngest club ever, Martin's team failed to win 50 games or reach the College World Series for the first time in his 14 seasons. A tribute to his success, FSU's 46 wins marked that year marked the lowest win total during the Martin Era. For 12 consecutive seasons since his arrival, Martin's clubs achieved 50 wins, an unprecedented run in college baseball.
The numbers Martin and his FSU teams have posted are monumental. During the 1992 season, the Seminole coach collected his 700th career victory. That milestone came earlier than any coach in NCAA history — just 13 seasons.
Martin's succession of Dick Howser as FSU head coach seemed a perfectly logical step in 1979. As a player in 1965-66, Martin hit .354 in two seasons as the starting centerfielder for the Seminoles. He was a part of the 1965 College World Series team and earned all-District honors in his senior season. Martin then went on to play professionally in the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers organizations for three years prior to embarking on his career as a coach.
Martin began his career as a baseball and basketball coach at the junior high level, then became head basketball coach at Tallahassee Community College before spending four seasons as basketball coach at Tallahassee's Godby High.
When Woody Woodward became FSU head baseball coach in 1975, he quickly called on Martin to assist him. He served five seasons as the number one assistant under Woodward for four years and then under Dick Howser for one. When New York Yankee boss George Steinbrenner called Howser in November of 1979, it was an obvious choice as to who would succeed him as head coach. Since that day in 1979, there has been no doubt that Mike Martin and Seminole baseball are a perfect match.
For Martin, it's a dream come true. He would be the first to tell you his current position is his ultimate thrill. Martin has compiled a 1,132-383-3 record and is Florida State's winningest coach. Seminole baseball teams have participated in the NCAA Tournament every year under Martin — 21 consecutive years. That run, on the heels of appearances in 1978 and 1979, gives FSU 23 consecutive tournament trips. Only one other team in the nation—Miami—has a longer string of consecutive appearances. Martin has been involved in 14 of the 18 College World Series trips that Florida State has made, as a player, assistant and head coach.
Martin says his years around FSU coaches like Fred Hatfield, whom he played for in 1965-66, and Woody Woodward and Dick Howser, whom he coached under, instilled in him the desire to produce winners on and off the playing field. Stepping out of their shadows, Martin has built his own legacy in Tallahassee.
During his tenure, 40 different players have earned All-America honors, 76 have been named to all-conference teams and an incredible 92 players have signed professional contracts. In 1999, second baseman Marshall McDougall was a consensus All-American, a finalist for Godlen Spikes and Dick Howser Awards, and the ACC Player of the Year after winning the conference's triple crown. Center fielder J.D. Drew took home consensus All-American honors in 1997, as well as player of the year awards from Baseball America, The Sporting News, and Collegiate Baseball. Drew also became the first Seminole to win the Dick Howser Award, named after FSU's former All-American and head coach. Three of Martin's Seminoles —Mike Fuentes, Mike Loynd and Drew—have won the Golden Spikes Award, honoring the nation's best amateur baseball player.
A popular speaker, Martin has delivered keynote addresses at several state and national meetings, including gatherings of the Florida High School Coaches Association, Atlanta Braves instructional clinics and Seminole booster clubs throughout the Southeast. He is also in demand as a speaker at churches and is active in national and local Fellowship of Christian Athletes activities.
A 1966 graduate of Florida State, Martin earned his master's degree in 1971. He and wife Carol have three children, Mary Beth (31), Melanie (25) and Mike, Jr. (28), a former starting catcher and current volunteer coach at Florida State. Mary Beth and husband, Tom Buchanan, recently gave birth to the Martin's first grandchild — Hannah Elizabeth (two).
All About Mike Martin
Born: February 12, 1944 in Charlotte, N.C.
Martin Quick Facts
NCAA Winningest Active Division I Coaches By Percentage
Mike Martin As A Player At Florida State
*Named to the All-District Team
Martin's Career Coaching Record
NCAA Winningest All-Time Division I Coaches