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Seminoles fire baseball coach after 3 seasons

Mike Martin Jr. sent packing after being tapped to succeed legendary father in June 2019
Florida State's Jayce Boyd (right) is congratulated by third base coach MIke Martin, Jr. as he...
Florida State's Jayce Boyd (right) is congratulated by third base coach MIke Martin, Jr. as he heads for home after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game against Stanford on Sunday, June 10, 2012 in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 18-7 and advances to the College World Series. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)(AP)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
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Florida State is searching for a new baseball coach.

Mike Martin Jr. was fired Friday after three seasons at the helm.

"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," Florida State 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."

The son of legendary former Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin took over for his father in June 2019, just two days after the longtime skipper retired. The elder Martin lobbied for his son to succeed him.

Martin Jr. was 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.

Florida State assistant head coach Mike Martin Jr. (left) watches as left fielder DJ Stewart...
Florida State assistant head coach Mike Martin Jr. (left) watches as left fielder DJ Stewart reacts on third base after stealing second and then to third base on an error against Mercer in a game at the Tallahassee regional Friday, May 29, 2015, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State defeated Mercer 5-4 in 10 innings.

"We deeply appreciate all Mike has done for the program as head coach, as an assistant coach and as a Seminole student-athlete," Alford continued. "His passion for the university and the baseball program is unequaled. I am sure I speak for all Seminole fans when I say we wish him and his family nothing but the best."

Although the Seminoles earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the 44th consecutive time – tying an NCAA record – they failed to advance past the regionals for the second time in as many seasons under Martin Jr., whose first year was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Seminoles have never had a losing season in baseball and won at least 40 games in each of Martin's 40 seasons, culminating with a trip to the College World Series in 2019. He retired as the all-time wins leader in Division I college baseball history. The only blemish to Martin's otherwise impeccable resume was the elusive national championship.

Retiring Florida State coach Mike Martin tips his hat to spectators following the team's...
Retiring Florida State coach Mike Martin tips his hat to spectators following the team's College World Series game against Texas Tech in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Texas Tech won 4-1.

Martin's teams traveled to the site of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, 17 times without ever winning, setting the NCAA record for the most appearances by a school without at least one national championship of which to boast.

Despite a national search for Martin's successor, former athletic director David Coburn elevated Martin Jr. to the role, citing his "commitment to, passion for and experience with the Seminole program."

However, with Coburn retired and Alford, a former college baseball player, stepping in, the pressure was on Martin Jr. to at least match the early success his father found, taking his first team to the College World Series in 1980.

It never happened. The Seminoles were 77-54 under Martin Jr. and just 36-33 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The 2022 Seminoles were an unimpressive 8-17 away from Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.

Florida State had never previously fired a baseball coach.

Alford said a national search will begin immediately to find Martin Jr.'s replacement.

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