The Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team has found its new head coach, naming Link Jarrett the 21st coach in program history earlier today.
Jarrett joins Notre Dame after having spent the last seven seasons as the head coach of the UNC Greensboro Spartans. The Spartans won at least 34 games each of the last four seasons under Jarrett and he led the program to their first ever conference tournament championship in 2017. Perhaps equally as important to Notre Dame, the UNCG baseball program held at least a 3.11 cumulative GPA in three of the last four seasons, including a 3.22 GPA in 2017-18 that was the highest of any male sport in the school.
“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Jarrett and his family to the Notre Dame family,” Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “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.”
Jarrett, for his part, started off by saying all the right things:
“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.”
Prior to his time at UNCG, Jarrett served as the assistant coach and director of player development for the Auburn Tigers, winning SEC Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2010. Auburn averaged 34 wins and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of those three seasons.
Jarrett played shortstop for the Florida State Seminoles, where he played for three College World Series teams in 1991, ‘92, and ‘94. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 22nd round of the 1994 MLB Draft and was named the Most Spectacular Defensive Player in the organization in his first year.
Perhaps one of the biggest sells for Notre Dame in bringing their baseball program to the next level is Jarrett’s previous success in recruiting and player development, somewhere that Notre Dame has struggled in recent history. In addition to being the director of player development at Auburn, he served as the recruiting coordinator for both the East Carolina Pirates and the Mercer Bears. Between his success and history as both a player and coach, Jarrett certainly brings a level of credibility to the Notre Dame program. Time will tell if that translates to success on the field, we’ll certainly be rooting for him.