We hear about this kind of thing in college basketball and football. Coaches leaving one program to take over another one and the challenges that go with the move. College baseball, for the most part, has stayed away from those kinds of stories. That is starting to change. On Monday, June 27 Florida State University held a 10:30 AM press conference to announce that they have hired a new baseball coach to lead their program. Link Jarrett, who just finished taking Notre Dame to the college world series in Omaha, is leaving South Bend and going back to where his college baseball career began, Tallahassee, Florida to be named the new head baseball coach of the Seminoles.
Jarrett is a 1994 graduate of FSU and was a two-time All-American shortstop with the Seminoles (1992,1994). He played in three College World Series for Florida State under then head coach Mike Martin. Jarrett still holds the NCAA record for career assists at 802. This will be his second stint with the program as a coach, the first time was as an assistant under Martin in 2003 Florida State went 54-13-1. That year they were the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champs and were the national overall number one seed for the tournament.
Jarrett began his college coaching career in 1999 at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida where he coached for three seasons. From there he moved on to Mercer College where he was the recruiting coordinator for two seasons. His big break came in 2009 at East Carolina where he was named the 2009 Conference USA Assistant Coach of the Year. He helped the Pirates lead the country in hits with 814, and were in the top 20 in doubles, home runs, slugging percentages, and batting average. He was with the East Carolina program for three years and during that time the Pirates averaged 40 wins per year, made three NCAA regional appearances, and one Super Regional trip.
He joined the SEC as an assistant with the Auburn Tigers for three years (2010-12) and once again was named an Assistant Coach of the Year while at Auburn. During his time there, The Tigers set school records for batting average (.341), home runs (131), and slugging percentage (.591). The last two stats were national best in division one baseball. The Tigers had 816 hits, with 584 runs, and averaged 9.1 runs per game which had them in the Top-10 in the nation and led the SEC.
His first head coaching job came at UNC Greensboro where he was the Southern Conference Coach of the Year twice in 2016 and 2019. The Spartans were back-to-back conference champions in 2017 and 2018 and went to the regionals in 2017 for the first time in ten years. His career record at UNCG was 215-166. With the Irish, his coaching career took off. He has won back-to-back National Coach of the Year honors in 2021-2022 and took the Irish to two straight Super Regionals for the first time in program history. They finished 41-17 and the 41 wins were the most since 2006. He finished his three years at the helm of Notre Dame with an 86-32 record.
This would seem to be a good fit for both Jarrett and the school. Florida State is looking for that elusive national title that under coach Martin came so close too many times. FSU President Richard McCullough said on Friday “His proven and outstanding track record as a head coach makes him an excellent choice to lead our storied baseball program.” Jarrett himself stated he was “humbled to become the next head coach at Florida State.” Time will tell if this move works out for both parties.
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