Link Jarrett Named Notre Dame's New Baseball Coach
A little more than a month after firing ninth-year head coach Mik Aoki, Notre Dame officially announced late Friday afternoon in a news release the hiring of two-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year Lincoln “Link” Jarrett as its 21st head baseball coach.
A record-setting two-time All-American shortstop on three College World Series teams at Florida State from 1991-94, Jarrett has spent the last seven seasons (2013-19) as the head coach at UNC Greensboro, where he revived the program and compiled a 215-166 career record.
His initial three seasons saw the Spartans finish under .500, but by his fourth year in 2016 he was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year while leading his team to a second-place tie in the league. The following season the Spartans won their first-ever conference tournament championship, and then in 2018 their second-ever regular season championship.
In 2017, UNCG made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years and knocked off No. 23 St. John's at the NCAA Clemson Regional.
During Jarrett's tenure, the Spartan offense led the Southern Conference in hitting five of his seven seasons, and in 2016 paced the nation in batting average.
Off the field, three of his last four teams achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.11, and the team’s 3.22 GPA during the 2017-18 academic year was the highest of any male sport at UNCG.
“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Jarrett and his family to the Notre Dame family,” said Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick. “Link brings a remarkable baseball pedigree to the job, as an elite player, an assistant coach with some of the country’s best collegiate programs, a highly successful head coach, and even as a parent of a current college baseball player.
“But perhaps most importantly, Link’s passion for teaching young men through baseball matches perfectly with the mission of Notre Dame Athletics.”
Deputy Athletic Director Jody Sadler was the point woman in the search. Notre Dame has been to one NCAA Tournament the past 13 seasons and achieved only four winning records in that span, finishing 24-30 each of the past two and 26-32 the year prior.
“I’d like to thank Jack Swarbrick and Jody Sadler for navigating this process and giving me the opportunity to lead this baseball program,” Jarrett said. “It is truly an honor to be the head coach at Notre Dame.
“I want to build this program into one that will contend for championships in the ACC. We have to work tirelessly to upgrade everything that we do in our program. I want this program to be a model of consistency and excellence in college baseball.”
• Jarrett still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 802. He also holds the FSU records for consecutive games played (235) and at-bats (989).
• Prior to his time in Greensboro, Jarrett spent three years at Auburn (2010-12) as the assistant coach/director of player development, and was named SEC Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com. in 2010 when, as the hitting coach, Jarrett’s Tigers batted .349.
• At East Carolina (2006-09), Jarrett served as the hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator, helping the Pirates advance to the NCAA Tournament in his last three years, culminating with a Super Regional berth.
• Jarrett spent two seasons at Mercer (2004-05) as the recruiting coordinator before moving to Greenville.
Following a minor league playing career, Jarrett began his coaching duties in 1999 at NCAA Division II Flagler College, and the program set school records in batting average, hits, doubles, fielding percentage, ERA and double plays while posting a 108-63 record (.632). The Saints rose to No. 5 at one point in the national rankings.
In 2003, Jarrett returned to Florida State, assisting legendary 40-year Seminoles head coach Mike Martin, who retired this spring, for one year before moving to Mercer.
“Link was a self-made player,” Martin said. “He got my attention early with his work ethic, intelligence, and desire. When he became a coach with us, it truly reinforced what I had always thought – that one day he was going to be a Division I head coach. Notre Dame will excel under his leadership.”
Jarrett earned a bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in psychology from Florida State in 1994. He and his wife Jennifer, have two children, J.T. and Dawson.