Devoted fans and loved ones gathered at Florida State’s Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday to say goodbye to the late Coach Mike Martin Sr.
Jason Pappas is a professor at FSU. He said Martin meant the world to him and his legacy will forever live on.
“Coach Martin was not only a father figure for me when I was a student here, but he was more of a mentor and really someone that I looked up to in all he did in life,” said Pappas.
FSU’s legendary baseball coach passed away earlier this month at the age of 79 after a three-year battle with dementia. At Saturday’s memorial service, fans were able to see Martin’s casket as it sat in front beside the lectern with garnet and gold flowers perched nearby.
Emotions were high, as the jumbotron showed a video of Martin narrating a letter he wrote to his beloved alma mater of four decades—a place where he became the most successful coaches in all of college baseball, for having the most victories in college sports history at 2,029 wins.
The love longtime fan Jason Pappas has for Martin, stems from the coach’s character, not his number of wins.
“To have him in my heart and soul as I was a student and I was a professional, was more impressive than all the wins he had on the baseball field,” said Pappas. “He’s a man of God and a person I look up to every day.”
Before leaving the service, every person in attendance stood to their feet to deliver one last signature “Noles” cheer, spelling out each letter just like the legendary coach used to do after a victory.