FSU's Martin Discusses Job with UGA

The University of Georgia's search for a new head baseball coach continues and it now appears Florida State coach Mike Martin may be the frontrunner to fill the post.

Between the Hedges.com has learned that Georgia athletics director Vince Dooley spoke with Martin twice last weekend about the Bulldogs' vacancy.

The new Georgia coach will replace Ron Polk, who returned to Mississippi State. He was that school's head coach for 22 years (1976-97). He coached Georgia the past two seasons (2000 and 2001), compiling a record of 79-48. Polk has directed teams to 1,122 wins.

Martin, like Polk, is considered a legend in collegiate baseball coaching circles. The 57-year old Martin ranks second among active NCAA Division I coaches with 1,179 victories. He has been at Florida State for 29 years as a player and coach, including the past 22 years as head coach.

Dooley first contacted Martin July 6 after Baylor coach Steve Smith withdrew his name from consideration for the position.

Tulane's Rick Jones, Miami's Jim Morris and East Carolina's Keith LeClair have also declined overtures from Georgia.

Martin's son, Mike Martin Jr., is a volunteer assistant with the Seminoles. It is believed Georgia officials have assured the senior Martin that his son could be hired to assist him if he becomes the Bulldogs' head coach.

Georgia created similar positions for the sons of former head football coach Jim Donnan and head basketball coach Jim Harrick. In those arrangements, the coaches' sons split their duties between coaching and fund-raising in the Georgia Athletic Association's development office.

Last season, Georgia beat Florida State in Athens in a super regional of the NCAA tournament, allowing the Bulldogs to advance to the College World Series. Martin was very complimentary of Georgia and its enthusiastic crowds at Foley Field.

"We're going to do everything we can to never have to come back here again," Martin said after the Seminoles lost two of three games at Georgia. "This was as tough of an environment to play in as I've ever been in 22 years. It was a great, great home-field situation."

Martin may be considering the Georgia job because of the generous financial package the Bulldogs are believed to be ready to give their new coach. It has been reported that Georgia offered Jones a base salary of more than $125,000 to replace Polk. Despite leading the Seminoles to 12 trips to the College World Series, Martin is paid a base salary of only $80,000 per year--a figure well below what many of his peers make.

Georgia assistant coach David Perno is also under consideration for the job. Perno, a Georgia letterman, was the Bulldogs' hitting coach and recruiting coordinator under Polk the past two seasons.

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