In 2015 Clyde Keller left his job as the Owner/Director of Development of Florida Makos Baseball and took the volunteer assistant position at Florida State citing a desire to get back into the college baseball coaching ranks. After Mike Bell’s departure to become the head coach at Pittsburgh Keller will get his wish.
Keller pitched at FSU for 2 years (1988-1989) and once his playing career was done became the head coach at Berkeley Prep (high school) followed by pitching coach at Western Kentucky and in the Toronto Blue Jay’s farm system. He was quite successful at each spot taking Berkeley Prep to the post season 3 out of the 4 years he was there and helping Western Kentucky greatly improve their pitching.
While there are more proven candidates FSU could have courted it would seem a bit silly to do so considering the ‘Noles will have a change in head coach before the 2020 season. Keller is a perfectly reasonable candidate to step in for a one year jaunt and that is by no means a knock on his ability but rather his experience.
This move does suggest that the promised national search for a head coach will be just that as opposed to a smoke screen to give Mike Martin Jr. the job but make it look like Florida State did their due diligence. A more experienced candidate would likely require some assurances that the next head coach would maintain them on staff and that’s something FSU could only do if Martin Jr were already decided to be the next head coach.
It will be difficult for Keller to put any sort of stamp on the arms at Florida State in just one year but his hiring helps limit the development gap that could occur next year if Florida State were forced to hire somebody completely unqualified for the job.