What’s the asking price for Notre Dame head coach Link Jarrett?
There is no hotter name in coaching right now than the former Seminole infielder who has taken the Fighting Irish to the CWS for the first time since 2002 and only the third time in program history. The accomplishment from this Notre Dame team is even more impressive considering they had to go on the road at Tennessee, defeating a team that spent most of the year as the best team in the nation and had one of the most dominant regular seasons in recent memory.
There are currently thirteen coaching vacancies in college baseball, and only five of those openings are at power five schools; Michigan, Northwestern, USC, Washington, and of course, Florida State.
The only school that would be an upgrade from Notre Dame outside of Florida State would be the University of Southern California. It would seem improbable for someone with strong ties to the east coast to relocate in such a drastic fashion, especially given the disfunction within the athletic department over the past few years. USC is showing signs of having its house in order with the hiring of Lincoln Riley along with a strong NLI offering but it would seem that the Trojans would likely covet somebody with strong ties to their locale.
Link’s current employer, Notre Dame, could also hold onto their coach. The Irish certainly have more resources than FSU and the recruiting in the mid-west is a bit undervalued and undermined, unlike in the southeast.
However, no baseball coach wants to start their season on the road and deal with canceled games due to early-season rain and snow. It also cuts into a team’s ability to practice throughout the year, something the Seminoles do not suffer from. How interested is Notre Dame in baseball though? A post-season run to Omaha could ignite interest in South Bend but will it be enough for Notre Dame to offer competitive compensation?
That leaves Tallahassee, the university where Jarrett earned All-American honors, the place where he met his current wife, and the city in which his extended family currently lives. Current AD, Michael Alford, made what would seem a very calculated decision in firing Mike Martin, Jr., knowing what other programs would be looking for a new head coach. It is now up to Alford to show that this gamble will pay off because Florida State’s competition is now very limited.
The newly hired Erik Bakich reportedly signed a five-year deal that will pay him approximately one million dollars per year. According to D1Baseball’s Kendall Rodgers, it would take a similar financial obligation for Jarrett to leave Notre Dame and take on a new role as the Seminoles’ new skipper. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the outdated facilities of Dick Howser, which is in desperate need of upgrades to compete in the ACC and is woefully inadequate when compared to Jarrett’s current situation in South Bend.
One would hope that Florida State made the correct decision in parting with its former manager and setting sights on returning Florida State baseball to the standard that fans are accustomed to. For now, we should all be keeping a close eye on Link Jarrett’s success and Omaha, and when his run is over, hope that the Seminoles can lure him home where he can repeat the success that he has cultivated at Notre Dame.