For the first time since the hire was made official, new Florida State Seminoles baseball head coach Link Jarrett addressed the media and FSU fanbase, talking his history with the program, his vision for Seminoles baseball, facilities, recruiting, and more.
Jarrett returned to his hometown of Tallahassee to become the program’s 10th ever head coach. hired away from Notre Dame after compiling a 86-32 record and leading the Fighting Irish to a College World Series berth in 2022.
“I think that Link is the finest coach in the game today, and that opinion is held by many in college baseball. We could not be more pleased that he will be leading our program,” said FSU athletic director Michael Alford last week in a press release announcing Jarrett’s hire. “He has been a proven winner at each of his coaching stops.
“His teams have not only posted historically successful seasons, but they have also mirrored Link’s tradition of running a first-class program. He is well-known for his record of developing players everywhere he has coached.
“He’s a Seminole through and through and there is no question that he will dedicate himself to the success of our student-athletes and his team. I know he is excited to be returning home and we are just as excited to welcome him and his family.”
Speaking on Monday, Jarrett said that ultimately, outside of family connections, his desire to be in Tallahassee came down to one thing — winning a national championship.
“After I left, I do recognize what has gone here for decades. I have to create a trajectory with the program to modernize what we’re doing. We have to improve the organization. We have to become complete in all phases of what we’re 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 this is difficult. Walking off that field [in Omaha] a week ago was challenging, emotional. I actually walked off that field three times as a player, and I’m going to walk off that field, at some point, with the trophy.”
“A lot of people say that, I would think every coach stands at the podium and probably says the same thing, but I’ve been very close — and my experience in the game, playing and now coaching, has positioned me to be in a program where I feel like we have that opportunity annually to position ourselves to host a regional, host a super-regional, find ourselves in Omaha and cultivate a time that has a chance out there to win it.”
Jarrett took the time to thank his family, appreciating them for the coaching journey they've been on — eight different locations. It’s a huge reason why he ultimately ended up in Tallahassee, so that 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 earned a Mike Martin Coach of the Year trophy, said that he was, and is, eternally grateful for the support and platform that the family has given him.
“There was a competitive side to 11 that was as elite as I’ve ever seen. He put us in a position to win...to be in a spot to execute a win. And clearly, he won more than anybody. And his treatment of the people around the program always stood out to me.”
“Meat was a former teammate of mine — a former roommate of mine, an outstanding baseball mind. We had some of the deepest baseball conversations I can ever remember, at our house that was just up the road. He’s a close friend of mine, and will remain a very close friend as I embark on my challenge here.”
Jarrett also addressed FSU’s facilities briefly, saying that FSU can “keep up our shop a bit” and improve some things infrastructure-wise, something that has absolutely been top of mind for the new Seminoles’ skipper, who talked about sharing a facility with multiple other programs in South Bend as well as the difficulties of playing up north and how it helped shape his approach to getting the most out of his team.
“We spent seven straight weeks on an indoor football field — and half the time we shared it with softball, men’s lacrosse...and the track team ran around the track the entire time we practiced.”
“We played 13 series on the road this year — we chartered the three in the postseason and the one here [in Tallahassee]...if you aren’t tough enough to play on the road and come out of the gates, your season is over before you ever play a home game. So if that doesn’t make you a little more creative and a better coach, I don’t know what will.”
You can listen to the entire press conference below: