NCBWA Mike Martin Award
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year Award, introduced in 2008, is voted on by the NCBWA Board of Directors, and chosen from a list that includes all Division I conference coaches of the year and the coaches of the eight NCAA College World Series teams.
In 2020, the NCBWA board of directors voted unanimously to name the annual award after Mike Martin, the winningest head coach in NCAA Division I baseball history after he retired at Florida State in 2019 with a 2,029-736-4 mark over 40 seasons in leading the FSU program from 1980-2019.
"We could not think of any other coach historically to associate a name for this annual award besides coach Mike Martin," said NCBWA executive director Bo Carter. "He has meant so much to college baseball as it has continued year-by-year to gain additional national popularity."
Martin guided the Seminoles to at least 40 wins for all 40 seasons – a feat accomplished by no other college head coach in any sport – and took FSU to the NCAA World Series 17 times during his tenure.
He was National Coach of the Year in both 2012 and 2019 by Baseball America and is a member of both the ABCA Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
As head coach at Florida State, he won 20 regular-season conference titles in the Metro and Atlantic Coast Conferences and was conference coach of the year 13 times in those two circuits.
More importantly, Martin was noted for being a class act coach with disciplined and dedicated student-athletes and one of the great humorists in the game. He received a standing ovation from the media at his final news conference at the NCAA World Series in Omaha last June.
|Tennessee's Tony Vitello|
|Mississippi State's Gary Henderson|
|Coastal Carolina's Gary Gilmore|
|Indiana's Tracy Smith|
|Stony Brook's Matt Senk|
2021 Winner: Tony Vitello, Tennessee
Vitello led his Tennessee club to Omaha for the first time since 2005, while reaching the 50-win mark for the first time since 1995. The Volunteers earned a No. 3 national seed, hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2005 and swept their regional with a 9-8 win over Wright State in the opener before capping the perfect weekend with a pair of wins over Liberty, 9-3 and 3-1, to earn a spot in the Super Regionals for the first time since 2005. Tennessee stayed hot with a Super Regional sweep over No. 14 LSU, taking the opener 4-2 before erupting for a 15-6 clinching win behind program NCAA Tournament single-game records for runs and home runs (6) to earn its fifth trip to the College World Series.
2020 Season: No winner selected
2019 Winner: Erik Bakich, Michigan
Michigan went on the road and knocked off No. 1 overall seed UCLA in the Super Regionals to advance to the College World Series for the first time since 1984. The Wolverines were the only team to win a series against the Bruins all year and returned to Omaha for the eighth time in program history. Bakich led the Wolverines to a 46-20 record, the most wins by a Michigan team since 2008, and a 16-7 Big Ten record.
2018 Winner: Gary Henderson, Mississippi State
The Bulldogs advanced to the CWS under Henderson, who was named the interim head coach three games into the season, despite starting the year 0-3 and SEC play 2-7. After rallying to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, thanks in part to series sweeps of fellow CWS teams Arkansas and Florida, MSU won five elimination games in the NCAA postseason to advance to Omaha. Three of the Bulldogs NCAA Tournament wins either came in walk-off fashion or in extra innings.
2017 Winner: Pat Casey, Oregon State
The Beavers advanced to the CWS under Casey with an Oregon State single-season record 54 wins (54-4 overall), and set a Pac-12 Conference record for wins, while finishing league play with a 27-3 mark. Casey’s Beavers own the two longest winning streaks in college baseball in 2017 with a 23-game streak and an active 21-game streak. On May 12, Casey became just the 16th active coach to reach 1,000 wins with a four-year program.
2016 Winner: Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
Gilmore's squad punched its first ticket to the CWS with a thrilling 4-3 walk-off victory over LSU in game two of the Baton Rouge Super Regional last weekend. The victory was the 49th of the season for the Chanticleers, who have made 15 NCAA Regional appearances and three NCAA Super Regional appearances under Gilmore's watch in Conway, S.C. CCU opened the season ranked No. 24 in the NCBWA preseason poll and after dropping out for several weeks, returned to the rankings on April 18 and have won 38 of its last 46 games. The Chants have won 841 games during Gilmore's tenure and arrive in Omaha winners of 15 of their last 16 games, including a 5-1 mark in NCAA Tournament play.
2015 Winner: Paul Mainieri, LSU
Mainieri has directed LSU to a 53-10 record this season and a berth in the College World Series. The Tigers also captured the SEC regular-season championship and have been ranked No. 1 in the nation for 10 consecutive weeks. Mainieri was named the SEC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career after leading LSU to its league-best 16th SEC regular-season championship. It was the third title during his nine-season tenure. LSU also won the SEC Western Division title for the 18th time in school history and for the fifth time under Mainieri.
2014 Winner: Mike Gillespie, UC Irvine
Gillespie saw his Anteaters overcome a regular-season tailspin to land in the College World Series for the just the second time in program history. After dropping eight of its last nine and being unranked in the NCBWA Top 30 entering the NCAA Tournament, UCI won the Corvallis Regional, knocking off No. 1 overall seed Oregon State. UCI then took two straight at the Stillwater Super Regional to advance to Omaha for the first time since 2007.
2013 Winner: Tracy Smith, Indiana
The Hoosiers' eighth-year head coach guided his squad to an historic season in 2013 as Indiana enters the College World having reeled off a program-record 48 wins, including a 17-7 mark in Big Ten play, which gave the Hoosiers their first outright conference title since 1949. Smith, who was named the unanimous Big Ten Coach of the Year prior to the conference tournament, saw nine of his Hoosiers named to the All-Big Ten team, including Pitcher of the Year Aaron Slegers. After the record-breaking regular season, Smith and his IU squad then secured its second NCAA regional berth (2009) during his tenure by winning the Big Ten tournament title at Target Field in Minneapolis.
2012 Winner: Matt Senk, Stony Brook
Matt Senk has guided the Seawolves to the most victories in school history (after 42 in 2011) for the second year in a row with a 52-13 mark to lead Division I in 2012 triumphs prior to the CWS. SBU is the second No. 4 regional seed to advance to the World Series under its current format, joining Fresno State's 2008 national championship team. The Seawolves also are the first school from the Northeast to reach Omaha since Maine in 1986. Stony Brook has become the first team from the state of New York to advance to the College World Series since St. John's in 1980.
2011 Winner: David Esquer, Cal
The Golden Bears program has avoided the chopping block through fund-raising efforts on the way to their sixth appearance in the CWS. Esquer led Cal out of the loser's bracket in the Houston Regional and beat Dallas Baptist in the Super Regional to advance to Omaha. Cal's 37 wins this season is the most victories since the 1991 squad went 37-27 and advanced to the final of the 1991 NCAA Wichita State Regional.
2010 Winner: Jim Schlossnagle, TCU
Schlossnagle led the Horned Frogs (51-12) to their fourth straight 40-win campaign and fifth consecutive Mountain West regular-season title in 2010 on the journey to Omaha. TCU won the MWC Tournament title, taking just three games to earn the league's automatic bid for the fourth time in just five seasons in the league. TCU hosted the NCAA Fort Worth Regional for the second year in a row, beating Lamar, Arizona and Baylor to advance to the Austin Super Regional, also for the second consecutive year. But in 2010, the result reversed in the Horned Frogs favor as they took the series from Texas and punched their ticket for Omaha's Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.
2009 Winner: Brian O'Connor, Virginia
After an impressive regular season, the Cavaliers (47-13-1) rattled off wins against Clemson, North Carolina, Duke and Florida State to win the ACC Tournament championship as the No. 6 seed. O'Connor then led the Cavaliers across the country to compete as the No. 2 seed at the NCAA Irvine Regional. There, they defeated San Diego State and host and No. 6 national seed UC Irvine twice to advance to the first NCAA Super Regional in school history. Following a 4-3 loss in 12 innings during the first game of the NCAA Oxford Super Regional against Mississippi, the Cavaliers scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 4-3 win in Game Two and broke open a close game with three runs in the fifth inning on the way to a 5-1 victory in the championship game. Entering the 2009 NCAA College World series, O'Connor has posted a 264-102-1 career record. In six seasons as the Cavaliers' skipper, he has led Virginia to NCAA Regional berths each year with five 40-win seasons during that time.
2008 Winner: Mike Batesole, Fresno State
Batesole led the Bulldogs (42-29) to their first College World Series appearance since 1991 and guided Fresno State to Omaha as the first No. 4 seed to advance to the CWS since the 64-team format was introduced in 1999. He earned Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors for the first time after Fresno State won its third consecutive regular-season WAC title. The Bulldogs followed that up with a third WAC Tournament championship in a row and won the Long Beach Regional with a victory over Long Beach State and two wins over top-10 ranked San Diego. After losing the opening game of the Tempe Super Regional, Fresno State posted back-to-back wins over then-No. 4 Arizona State to earn the trip to the CWS. Batesole is finishing his sixth season at the helm of the Bulldogs. He has a record of 214-163 at FSU and ranks third on the school's all-time victory list. Batesole also served eight seasons as head coach at Cal State Northridge and owns a career record of 470-321-1 over 13 campaigns.