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Florida State athletics and the college baseball world said goodbye to a coaching legend on Wednesday.
FSU head coach Mike Martin’s illustrious coaching career came to an end after 40 years as the Seminoles fell to Texas Tech in a College World Series elimination game, 4-1. With 2,029 career victories, Martin won more games than any college coach in any sport.
Martin led the Seminoles to 40 wins in each season he was the head man in Tallahassee and as a program, FSU has accomplished that feat in each of the last 42 years. That is unlikely to ever be paralleled. Martin also took the Seminoles to the College World Series 17 times.
With Martin departing, one might think that FSU men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton is the longest tenured head coach on campus. That’s not the case however. In fact, Hamilton is neither the longest tenured men’s coach or longest tenured basketball coach.
FSU men’s tennis coach Dwayne Hultquist holds the distinction for men’s sports. Hultquist was hired prior to the 1999-2000 athletic year. Overall, the longest tenured head coach is women’s hoops coach Sue Semrau.
The head coach since the 1997-98 season, Semrau has transformed the Seminoles from an ACC bottom-feeder to a perennial top-25 program. Prior to taking over, FSU had not had a winning season since the 1991-92 campaign and no more than eight wins since the 1992-93 season.
Although Semrau’s first few years were tough, she hasn’t had a losing season since the 2001-02 campaign. In her 22 seasons, Semrau has taken FSU to the NCAA Tournament 15 times, including in each of the last seven seasons and 14 of the last 15. Under Semrau, FSU has reached the Sweet 16 five times and the Elite Eight three times.
Overall, Semrau has 451 career wins. That’s 58 percent of FSU’s total wins as a program. Semrau has won more than 64 percent of her games coached and nearly 58 percent of ACC contests.
While women’s athletics tend not to get the notoriety that men’s basketball or football do, no one can deny that impact that Semrau has made on the FSU program. Much like other FSU coaching legends such as Martin, Bobby Bowden and JoAnn Graf, Semrau is certainly worthy of having a court or facility named in her honor when all is said and done — if not before then.