The Daily Nole

Sunday Centerpiece: Former Noles React to the Hiring of Mike Martin, Jr.

Mitch White/FSU athletics

It was known well before the start of the season that the 2019 campaign would be the last in the legendary career of Florida State head baseball coach Mike Martin. Although there was rampant speculation, his successor wasn’t named until nine days ago.

Mike Martin, Jr., commonly referred to as “Meat” will succeed his father as head coach of the program. Martin had been an assistant for his dad since 1998.

“I’m not surprised they gave it to Meat,” said Marshall McDougall, an All-American infielder for the Seminoles who played in 1998 and 1999. “I think in the state of Florida, you need a big name to help recruiting, so not many names bigger than Martin. I know there were a lot of great candidates applying. I do believe it should be someone familiar with the program for the sake of keeping some things that work going.”

The younger Martin played catcher for FSU from 1993-95 before becoming an assistant three years later. During his career, Martin Jr. hit .272 with 20 home runs, including a memorable walk-off to beat rival Miami in 1995.

“It’s definitely well deserved,” said Dennis Guinn, an FSU outfielder and first baseman from 2005-08. “He’s invested a huge part of his life to the team, university and hundreds of players over the years. He’s fully aware of what it takes to be successful in all aspects of the game and I have no doubt he’ll represent ‘Nole Nation’ the way ’11’ did, but also make strides in the right direction where it’s needed.”

In his 22 years as an assistant, Martin Jr. served as the hitting coach and was tasked with recruiting. While he worked directly with McDougall and Guinn, who combined for 79 home runs during their careers, former pitcher Tyler Everett said he had a good rapport with the hurlers as well.

“I thought it was a great hire,” said Everett, who pitched at FSU from 2008-11. “He knows the program inside and out. He was always a players’ coach and very charismatic. He’d jab at the pitchers and we’d go back and forth about who would dominate who that day. Meat was very involved, very active.”

McDougall and Guinn’s sentiments were similar.

“As a hitting coach, he was great at relating to all different types of hitters, regardless if you’re a power hitter, gap guy, line drive to the dirt guy, etc.,” Guinn said. “As a former catcher, he knows how important the leadership behind the plate is and how it influences the pitching staff, but also rest of the field.”

“When I was there, he was still early in his coaching experience and could relate to the players really well,” McDougall said. “His press conference the other day, he seemed very genuine and had a good sense of humor. I think athletes these days at that level just want to be able to trust you.”

During Martin’s introductory press conference, the first-year head coach displayed confidence. Martin said he would like to add someone with professional experience to his staff and has done so with the hiring of San Francisco Giants’ scout Mike Metcalf. Martin Jr. added that he wanted to play faster and be more aggressive at the plate.

“He has a go-getter mentality,” Everett said. “He was always working hard on the (recruiting) trail. He knows the game. What better person is there to learn from than your dad — the winningest coach in any Division I sport. I think he’ll add some new wrinkles as well.”

While Martin Jr.’s first introductory press conference made a splash, there are some members of the fan base who were unhappy with the hire, viewing it as a continuation of his father’s tenure. Former players however, say that the younger Martin is certainly his own man.

“Changes for the good will be made,” Guinn said. “It’s easy for the fan base to put the blame on one guy, the head coach, rather than looking into the productivity or lack of from the players and how they perform. All fan bases have naysayers, critics, but most do not understand the constant criticism, analyzing and overall commitment daily it takes to lead a squad.”

The younger Martin will certainly have big shoes to fill, replacing his father, who won 2,029 games and led the Seminoles to 19 conference titles and 17 College World Series appearances. The biggest knock on the elder Martin is that he was never able to capture that coveted national championship. The younger Martin, the ninth head coach in program history, said all aspects of the programs will be “geared toward” emerging victorious in Omaha.

“Pretty much no matter what anyone does, it will never make everyone happy, but I think he deserves a fair shot to implement his style and see what he can do for a couple of years before people can judge if it was the right call,” McDougall said. “I wish him and the whole team good luck and hope they can continue the tradition that is FSU baseball.”

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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