Like father, like son: Mike Martin Jr. to lead Seminoles

Longtime FSU assistant, son of NCAA's all-time wins leader takes over

Longtime Florida State assistant Mike Martin Jr. (right) stands in the dugout with his father, recently retired head coach Mike Martin (left), and assistant Tyler Holt (center) during a game at Miami earlier this season. Martin Jr. is taking over for his father. (Kathy Hitchcock)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Just two days after Mike Martin concluded his 40th and final season as head coach of the Florida State baseball team, his son has been named his successor.

Mike Martin Jr. is the next head coach of the Seminoles.

Florida State athletic director David Coburn made the announcement Friday, elevating Martin Jr. to the role previously held by his father.

"We are very excited to have coach Martin leading our baseball program into the future," Coburn said in a statement announcing the hire. "His commitment to, passion for and experience with the Seminole program are second to none."

Martin Jr. is a longtime assistant coach who spent three years as a starting catcher for the Seminoles from 1993-95. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, the younger Martin joined his father's staff in 1998.

He becomes the first new coach of the program since Dick Howser left to manage the New York Yankees after the 1979 season.

"I want to thank President John Thrasher and athletic director David Coburn for entrusting me with this special program," Martin Jr. said in a statement. "I'm very honored and humbled to be able to lead Florida State. It's been a privilege to serve at this great university for the past 22 years and I'm excited to extend FSU's 70-year history of success moving forward."

Martin Jr.'s father coached his final game -- a 4-1 loss to Texas Tech in the College World Series -- Wednesday night. It was Martin's 17 trip to Omaha without winning a national championship.

The Seminoles own the nation's longest consecutive streak of NCAA tournament appearances, having been 42 years in a row. Forty of those have come in the Martin era.

Other applicants for the job were former FSU assistant and current Florida A&M head coach Jamey Shouppe, successful junior college coach Jeff Johnson, former Major League Baseball catcher Chris Bando and former MLB pitcher Mark Worrell.

Martin finished his FSU career with 2,029 wins -- the most of any coach in any sport in NCAA history.

Under Martin's watch, the Seminoles have won at least 40 games each year, eight Atlantic Coast Conference championships and 11 Metro Conference titles prior to joining the ACC. 

Retiring Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin tips his hat for the final time while wearing his No. 11 uniform after the Seminoles were eliminated from the College World Series by Texas Tech, June 19, 2019, in Omaha, Nebraska.

But there is one glaring omission from his otherwise impeccable resume -- the elusive national championship.

"After serving under one of the all-time greats, we will combine much of what was learned from him with our new staff's style and ideas in our pursuit of championships," Martin Jr. said.

Martin Jr. has served as the team's third-base coach and recruiting coordinator. He also focused on hitting and catching for the Seminoles.

After FSU announced last summer that Martin would step down after the 2019 season, the administration promised to conduct a national search for its next coach. But No. 11 made it known he was hopeful his son would get the job.

Martin got his wish.

The question remains, will he be able to do what his father couldn't and bring a national title to Tallahassee?

"His plan for the next era of Seminole baseball is impressive," Coburn said. "He knows what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. After traveling with this team for the last three and a half weeks, I have come away very impressed with his relationships with the players, his attention to detail and his understanding of the great game of college baseball."

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