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Head Coach: Florida State University
Entering his 34th season as the Seminoles' head coach, Mike Martin continues to redefine success by any standard of measure. With 1,723 career victories, a .743 winning percentage that ranks second among all active NCAA Division I coaches, 33 consecutive regional tournament appearances and 15 trips to the College World Series, Martin's place in college baseball history is secure.
Martin was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007. Since then he has eclipsed the 1,500-, 1,600- and 1,700-win milestones, returned to the College World Series three times in the last five seasons and shown no sign of slowing down, while continuing to turn out All-Americans, Major League Draft choices and postseason participants.
Only two men, Texas' Augie Garrido and Wichita State's Gene Stephenson, have won more games than the man whose uniform number - 11 - is universally substituted for his name among players, fans, colleagues, and even family members. There's a reason Martin is treated like family among the Florida State faithful. He has been associated with the Seminoles for 41 of the program's 66 seasons - as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
There have been 3,598 baseball games played in FSU history and Martin has been involved in 2,705 of those in some capacity. Even more impressively, he's been on the field or in the dugout for 1,990 of the Seminoles' 2,623 all-time victories. In a sport where you're immortalized for batting .300, Martin has more than doubled that success rate - and then some - having had a hand in more than 75 percent of the program's victories in some capacity.
Associate Head Coach: Florida State University
Mike Martin didn't have to sell Florida State's rich baseball history in his search for a top-flight pitching coach with Division I experience in the summer of 2011.
Mike Bell was a part of that history and now he's back in Tallahassee where he enters his second season as an associate head coach with his primary duties overseeing the Seminole pitching staff and assisting in the recruiting process.
The former Seminole did not disappoint in his first season as a member of the Florida State coaching staff guiding the Garnet & Gold to a berth in the College World Series and a top four finish. Under Bell, the Seminole pitching staff posted a team ERA of 3.47 good for fourth best in the ACC and 52nd nationally. It marked the lowest ERA recorded by a Seminole squad since 2003 when the team finished with a sub-three (2.96) earned run average.
From the start of the 2012 season, Bell relied on some new faces to solidify the weekend rotation with a pair of freshmen in Brandon Leibrandt and Mike Compton and sophomore Peter Miller filling those roles. It marked just the third time since 1980 that Florida State opened a weekend series with a rotation consisting only of sophomores and freshmen. Leibrandt became the first freshman to start an opening day game in Florida State history while holding down the spot as the Friday night starter all season long. Compton stood as the lone pitcher in the ACC to reach double-digit wins while finishing tied for second nationally in that same category. Both pitchers would go on to earn Freshmen All-America honors.
Mike Martin, Jr.
Assistant Coach: Florida State University
Entering his 16th season as an assistant coach, Mike Martin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the bright young coaches in the college game. A former All-American catcher with the Seminoles, he coaches third base, works with the hitters and handles the Florida State catchers. At the start of the 2011-12 season, Martin, Jr. assumed the role of recruiting coordinator after assisting in the process the first 14 seasons in Tallahassee.
Under his 15-year guidance, the Seminoles have batted .312, slugged .491 and averaged 8.12 runs per game. Florida State has played in six College World Series, 12 Super Regionals, 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and won 74 percent of its games with Martin, Jr. on staff. As the academic liaison, the Seminoles captured the Gold Torch Award in 2007 and 2008, positing the highest GPA among all men's teams at Florida State. Two players have been named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year, while FSU has placed 40 student-athletes on the All-ACC Academic Team since the awards inception in 2006 including a school-record nine in 2012.
Martin has coached 10 Major Leaguers, 11 Freshman All-Americans, 18 first team All-Americans and 30 student-athletes who have earned first, second or third team All-American accolades. In all, 52 Seminoles have earned All-ACC honors and 47 hitters have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft during that stretch. Four Seminoles have captured National Player of the Year honors.
Serving as FSU's hitting coach over the last 15 years, the Seminoles have batted .300 or better 11 times. Six of the top 11 hitting teams in FSU history have come under Martin's watch.
Assistant Coach: Florida State University
Chris Cates joins the Florida State Baseball staff in his first season as the Seminoles' volunteer assistant coach in 2013. Cates' primary responsibilities will be in the development of the outfielders while serving as the first base coach.
Selected in the 38th round of the 2007 MLB First Year Player Draft by the Minnesota Twins, Cates played for five seasons in the Twins' minor league organization. He was named a two-time All-Star in the minors earning his first nod in 2008 with the Beloit Snappers out of the Class A Midwest League. A year later Cates would make his second All-Star team, this time in his first season at the Class A-Advanced level of the Florida State League with the Fort Myers Miracle. Cates turned his second All-Star appearance into a promotion to the Double-A Eastern League where he spent two seasons playing with the New Britain Rock Cats before retiring from professional baseball in 2011.
Cates graduated from the University of Louisville in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in sports administration. A four-year starter at shortstop for the Cardinals (2004-07), Cates started 239 games and hit .302 with 270 hits, 162 runs scored, 101 RBI, 44 doubles, five triples and three home runs. He also showed great strike zone discipline finishing his career with 89 walks to just 69 strikeouts. Cates played an integral role in leading Louisville to its first ever College World Series appearance in 2007 where the Cardinals went 1-2 in Omaha posting a victory over Mississippi State in an elimination contest. He closed out his senior campaign hitting .294 with 70 hits and a single-season career-high 17 stolen bases en route to being named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Voted team captain by his teammates and coaches, Cates was a semifinalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and the recipient of the Men's BIG EAST/Aeropostale Scholar-Athlete award which earned him a postgraduate scholarship.
The Tampa, Fla., native had a career junior season at Louisville as he started all 60 games at shortstop and led the team with a .332 average, 47 runs scored and 16 sac-bunts - a new single-season record for the Cards. Cates was instrumental in helping set a team record for double plays turned in 2006 with 75. He went on to earn third team All-BIG EAST honors as a junior after guiding the Cardinals to their first appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament championship game in their first season in the league.
Director of Baseball Operations: Florida State University
Returning for his 29th season as the senior member of Mike Martin's staff, Chip Baker is one of the most popular figures in the Seminole program. Baker is in his 11th year as Florida State's Director of Baseball Operations; a multi-faceted position for the man who spent 18 years as a Seminole assistant.
Baker oversees all administrative aspects of Seminole baseball, including the budget, team travel, game operations, equipment, field and facility maintenance and scheduling. He also assists the efforts of the marketing and ticket offices and is the contact point for all communication between the program and the Bullpen Club, Seminoles Boosters and the Alumni Association.
During his tenure with the Seminoles, Baker has participated in 28 NCAA postseason tournaments and 14 College World Series. He was a member of the coaching staff for the 1986 and 1999 teams that reached the CWS championship game. Baker's duties as an assistant included coaching third base, tutoring FSU's catchers, scouting opponents and directing the Seminoles' defensive alignments.
A former assistant at Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, Baker is known as one of college baseball's premier catching instructors. During his tenure, Baker coached seven All-American receivers, including Ed Fulton, Barry Blackwell, major-leaguer Marc Ronan, Pedro Grifol, current assistant coach Mike Martin, Jr., Jeremy Salazar and most recently, Tony Richie.