For the first time since the hiring was made official, new Florida State Seminoles baseball head coach Link Jarrett spoke to FSU media and fans, talking about his history with the program, his vision for Seminoles baseball, facilities, recruiting, etc.
Jarrett returned to his hometown of Tallahassee to become the program’s 10th head coach. hired away from Notre Dame after compiling an 86-32 record and leading the Fighting Irish to a College World Series berth in 2022.
“I think Link is the best coach in the game today, and that opinion is shared by many in college baseball. We couldn’t be happier to have him leading our program,” FSU athletic director Michael Alford said last week in a press release announcing Jarrett’s hiring. “He’s been a proven winner in every one of his coaching stops.
“His teams have not only posted historically successful seasons, they have also reflected Link’s tradition of leading a top-class program. He is well known for his player development record wherever he has coached.
“He is a Seminole through and through and there is no doubt that he will be dedicated to the success of our student-athletes and his team. I know he is thrilled to be home and we are equally thrilled to welcome him and his family.
Speaking Monday, Jarrett said that ultimately, aside from family ties, his desire to be in Tallahassee comes down to one thing: winning a national championship.
“After I left, I recognize what happened here for decades. I have to create a trajectory with the program to modernize what we do. The organization needs to be improved. We must become complete in all phases of what we are trying to do with the program. There’s one thing I haven’t done, and that’s win a national championship, and that’s why I’m here.
“It’s not easy, I know it’s difficult. Get out of this field [in Omaha] a week ago was difficult, moving. In fact, I left this field three times as a player, and I will leave this field, at some point, with the trophy.
“A lot of people say that, I think every coach stands on the podium and probably says the same thing, but I’ve been very close – and my experience in the game, playing and now as a coach, m ‘has positioned to be in a program where I feel like we have that opportunity every year to position ourselves to host a regional, host a super-regional, find ourselves in Omaha and cultivate a weather that has a chance of it to win.
Jarrett took the time to thank his family, appreciating them for the coaching journey they’ve been on – eight different places. That’s a huge reason why he ended up in Tallahassee, so they could finally settle down.
He also took a few minutes to address the elephant in the room – his relationship with the Martin family. Jarrett, who this year won the Mike Martin Coach of the Year award, said he was, and is, eternally grateful for the support and platform the family has given him.
“There was a competitive 11-man team that was as elite as I’ve ever seen. He put us in a position to win… to be able to execute a victory. And clearly, he won more than anyone. And his treatment of the people around the program has always marked me.
“Meat was a former teammate of mine – a former roommate of mine, an exceptional baseball spirit. We had some of the deepest baseball conversations I can remember, in our house which was just up the road. He is a close friend and will remain a very close friend as I embark on my challenge here.
Jarrett also briefly touched on FSU’s facilities, saying FSU can “keep our store a little bit” and improve some things in terms of infrastructure, which has been a top priority for the new Seminoles skipper, who spoke to share settling in with several other programs in South Bend as well as the struggles of playing up north and how that helped shape his approach to getting the most out of his team.
“We spent seven straight weeks on an indoor soccer field – and half the time we split it with softball, men’s lacrosse…and the track team ran around the track all the time we trained.”
“We played 13 series on the road this year – we chartered all three in the playoffs and the one here [in Tallahassee]…if you’re not strong enough to play on the road and out of the gates, your season is over before you even play a game at home. So if that doesn’t make you a bit more creative and a better coach, I don’t know what will.
You can listen to the full press conference below: