College baseball's coaching king is from Charlotte. He's also a real-life hero. – Charlotte Observer
Sometime in the next week – probably this weekend – Florida State’s Mike Martin will become college baseball’s all-time winningest coach.
Martin enters the weekend with 1,975 victories, the same as the late Augie Garrido, whose 48-year coaching career ended in 2016 at Texas.
Martin, 74, is in his 39th season as head coach of the Seminoles, who begin a three-game series Saturday at ACC Atlantic Division-leading Clemson.
If you follow college baseball, you probably know that Martin coached a number of great players who went on to the major leagues, or that his teams have reached the NCAA Tournament 38 straight years, or that he’s been named a conference coach of the year 13 times.
But did you know that Martin grew up in Charlotte, and that his baseball career included a stop at a local college? Or that he nearly became a basketball coach?
Here are five things you might not know about Mike Martin, who was inducted Friday night into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
The Charlotte ties
Martin grew up in Charlotte, in a house not far from where Bojangles’ Coliseum now stands. The family home is gone, but friends still remember the speedster who starred in baseball and basketball at Garinger High.
Martin stays in touch with his high school coach, Al Widenhouse, who still lives in Charlotte.
“There are many great memories from my time in that great state,” Martin said earlier this year.
Widenhouse, now in his early 80s, says he actually coached Martin in basketball. Garinger’s baseball coach was the late Joe Tomanchek, a legend in North Carolina coaching circles.
“He was an athlete, and he was a winner,” Widenhouse recalls. “He had a strange two-handed jump shot, but it worked. I built the offense around him.”
Did you see coaching