OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.
"I hope people would just kind of let that go," Mainieri said, "because Mike's done a phenomenal job for a lot of years, impacted a lot of lives, and I think he's a phenomenal coach. So I hope you don't mind me sitting on a pedestal and saying something like that, but that's how I feel."
Martin, 73, has 1,944 career wins and is under contract at FSU through 2018. He needs 32 wins to overtake Augie Garrido as the Division I all-time wins leader. Martin has never won fewer than 41 games in a season since becoming FSU's head coach in 1980. All 38 of his teams have made the NCAA Tournament.
Mainieri, who is in his 35th year as a head coach and has 1,374 wins, called Martin one of his idols.
"I just think way, way too much is being played about him not getting to win the final game in Omaha," Mainieri said. "It's really a shame. Was it Marv Levy or some of these other great coaches that never won it at all? Does that diminish their career? Does that keep them from being talked about as great coaches of all time? I wish it wouldn't, because what he's done in his career at Florida State is very rare.
"Whether he ever wins the last game in Omaha or not should never diminish his legacy one iota as far as I'm concerned."