In the history of college athletics, no coach has ever reached 2,000 career wins. That is, until head baseball coach Mike Martin let the Florida State Seminoles to their 13th win of the season against Virginia Tech on March 9, 2019.
How does Martin stack up against the top coaches in NCAA college baseball history? What about the head coaches from other collegiate sports? With 2,000 wins over 39 years ? all at FSU ? he has been doing pretty well for himself and the Florida State baseball program.
The only knock against Martin is his lack of national championships despite making 16 trips to the College World Series. However, he’s has done a better job than anyone when it comes to leading his team through the regular season and ACC Tournaments. In 39 seasons, Martin’s teams have won 19 tournament titles, eight of those in the ACC and 11 in the Metro Conference. They have also won 13 regular season championships, nine in the ACC.
Of coaches in the top 10 in wins, Martin is only trailing one coach in winning percentage. He has won 73.6 percent of the games he’s coached, the only one higher being Ed Cheff from Lewis-Clark State College who won 79.9 percent of his games and finished with 1,705 wins.
The only coach who’s also won over 1,900 games is Augie Garrido, who coached at five schools from 1969 through 2016, but most notably with the Texas Longhorns. He finished his career with 1,975 wins, but he did it over 48 years compared to Martin’s 39 years. His winning percentage accounts for that difference, only at 69.4 percent. Garrido did finish his career with five national championships.
Rod Dedeaux is lower on the list for wins, but has had a ton of postseason success. In 40 seasons, he won 1,342 games, 19th all-time, for a winning percentage of 69.1 percent, but his most notable stat is winning 10 national championships at Southern California from 1958 to 1978.
The all-time wins leader in college basketball history is Mike Krzyzewski who is now over 1,100 wins in 44 seasons with a winning percentage of 76.7 percent. Coach K has won five national titles in his career at Duke.
Adolph Rupp coached for 41 seasons at Kentucky and is the all-time leader in winning percentage at 82.2, plus he won four national championships. He finished his career with 876 wins, but the season was a little shorter then, so there were less wins to rack up back then.
John Wooden, maybe the most successful coach of all time in any sport, won 80.4 percent of his games with 664 wins in 29 seasons. During his 26 seasons with UCLA, he won 10 national championships.
From 1973 to 1997, Tom Osborne led Nebraska to an 83.6 winning percentage and finished his career with 255 wins. His win total ranks at 25th all time and his win percentage is fourth. During his career, he led the Cornhuskers to three national championships within four seasons.
The two most notable coaches in the history of college football were Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. Paterno, in 46 seasons with Penn State, won 74.9 percent of his games with a win total of 409, the second most in history. Penn State won two national championships during his time with the program.
Bowden finished his career at Samford, West Virginia and Florida State with 377 wins and a winning percentage of 74.3 percent. He coached the Seminoles to two national titles during his time with in Tallahassee.
When talking about great football coaches, Nick Saban has to be part of the conversation. In 22 seasons, he has won 231 games and six national championships. Another Alabama coach is also important. Bear Bryant won 78 percent of the games he coached, finishing his career with 323 wins and six national championships.
The biggest difference between Martin and all of these historic coaches is the number of titles they have won. If Martin had a few titles under his belt, he could be in consideration for at least one of the best coaches in college sports history. Without any, it is tough to give him even that title for just baseball, but he is towards the top of the list for sure.
With a great start to FSU’s season, maybe this will be the year Martin wins his first championship.