New Florida State baseball coach Mike Metcalf spent 11 years as a scout and cross checker with the San Francisco Giants, serving as a Southeast supervisor in his last role before joining Florida State.
Metcalf, a Sarasota native, is the son of a baseball coach and the family has long made visits to Tallahassee as Florida State football season ticket holders. His friendship with Mike Martin Jr. was one where the two talked often as they criss-crossed Florida, Georgia and other states to watch baseball players at high school games or summer showcases.
Now Metcalf joins Martin Jr.’s staff as an assistant coach who focuses on being a recruiting coordinator. It’s clear that Martin Jr. will use Metcalf as an evaluator of future prospects but also one who can observe and instruct the current Seminoles. Metcalf is not FSU’s hitting coach but will serve a role as a teacher and bench coach for Martin Jr.
He has a background as a player who won two state titles before moving on to Manatee Community College and West Florida. His coaching career also includes stops at Florida Southern and South Florida Community College.
Metcalf sat down with the media during fall baseball to discuss his transition from pro baseball to the college ranks and a return to coaching.
How much of an adjustment has it been for you coming into your coaching role?
Metcalf: I was fortunate, I was born into a coach’s family. Saw a lot of good things. I played for a number of coaches that taught me a lot things good and bad. So the coaching part of it, to get back on the field, the evaluation part of it with the Giants for 11 years, I did a lot of international work when the guys would have come in from the different islands into Florida during the winter. So the ability to get that under my belt has helped the process move smoothly here with evaluating players.
Are you excited to get back to coaching?
Metcalf: It’s great talking and catching. It’s great talking baseball, but it’s also great being able to make a difference every day in young men’s lives … But to be able to make a change every day, you know, help the progression of becoming men is outstanding. Something I really missed.
Coaching of course it’s a great opportunity for anybody with somebody who already likes Florida State.
Metcalf: It’s special. You know my dad graduated from here. We’ve been season-ticket holders for football since I can remember. So being able to get up here and put the garnet and gold on every day is really special. And I love life. I love waking up every morning. I have goals every morning in life and now I get to do it in garnet and gold, which is really special. … You almost feel like one of the players when you get all that team-issue stuff. Yeah, it was pretty good seeing my locker with all that garnet and gold hanging out there my number on and my name it was it was a special moment. Special moment for my family. You know, there’s a spot in my heart for Florida State and my family. My youngest sister lives up here, she works up here.
Having a familiarity of the roster and then stepping in and seeing it up close and personal, just what is your first impression of the guys you get to work with?
Metcalf: The evaluation process as a scout afforded me the opportunity to know this roster When you get down on field level with them, they’re a lot stronger and more physical than I thought. It’s a different view when you’re face to face, I should say, some of them chest to face, they’re more physical, their personalities, their work ethic. It’s been a very pleasant surprise for me. Because when we’re sitting in that other job, when you’re sitting on the fence, you’re running numbers, you’re running video, you’re evaluating, but a lot of times, especially as a cross checker that I was, you didn’t get the opportunity to go face to face with these guys. So it’s been great getting to know their personalities and how they go about their business every day.
What do you think of the hitting philosophy from Martin Jr.?
Metcalf: I don’t want to say that there’s a there’s not a change. There’s an addition. You know, Coach Martin has made it clear, that inner third, these guys are going in attack mode. And, you know, it’s not a change. I think the ultimate goal is, really, there’s been a lot of success. There really has, I mean, you look at the numbers. As a former scout, look at the success that Florida State hitters had when they came out of here in pro ball. It’s been pretty good. It’s been pretty impressive. So I think the ultimate goal is in helping with the hitters is to add to that success and take that next step. I mean, the simple reality is win a championship. And that’s what we’re here for.
What was your relationship with Martin Jr. before coming here?
Metcalf: We had a great relationship. I’ve always been up here for football games. But I’ve always believed in the process and how they went about their process here. There wasn’t any conversation prior to (Martin Jr. taking the job). There’s a mutual respect. You know, he tried to let me know what was going on with players when I was doing my job and I tried to let him know what was going on with his commits and signees. … He knew that at some point, I’d always wanted to get back into coaching. But you know, I love the San Francisco Giants. I love the people I worked with, it wasn’t something I was just going to jump onto. It had to be the right fit. And I was fortunate, one, the university, but also, two, the relationship that I had with Coach Martin Jr.
FSU fall baseball schedule
Friday’s exhibition – State College of Florida, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 30 – Garnet & Gold, 3 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 1 – Garnet & Gold, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 9 – Jacksonville University, 2 p.m.
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