FSU, Jarrett already looking to make improvements at Howser, facilities
During his introductory press conference as Florida State’s head baseball coach Monday morning, Link Jarrett enjoyed a homecoming as he spoke at-length publicly for the first time since taking the job.
After delivering an opening statement about his vision for the program, his excitement about the future and several other topics, Jarrett took questions from local media and was asked about possible improvements to the Seminoles’ facilities and Dick Howser Stadium.
It was a topic he clearly had already been mulling over for the past 72 hours or more.
“My mind goes immediately to the quest. How do I get this to run the way I want it to run?” Jarrett said. “How do I tidy things up? How do I get that [batting] cage right? How do I get that bullpen ... how do I get it up-to-date, up-to-speed?”
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Jarrett knows the importance FSU facilitates will play in the future of the program. While once considered one of the finest college baseball stadiums in the country, Howser doesn't currently measure up to many of the nation's top ballparks.
Jarrett is so interested in that aspect of the program that he already has offered suggestions about the replacement of the playing surface, which was already under way before he was hired.
“We have to keep up our shop a little bit. We need to refresh things. I tried to stop the work on the field because I had some ideas on what I thought might help everybody,” Jarrett said. “And I think I can improve some things just because of the timing of it. I feel like I can make some minor adjustments to what they’re doing on the field to make life easier for everybody.”
And Jarrett said he has expressed some of his other thoughts about the facilities to athletics director Michael Alford.
“Michael and I have talked about it and I can tell it’s on his mind walking around the athletic center and our place," Jarrett said.
When he spoke with Warchant and other media following the introductory press conference, Alford said FSU has done three different studies over the years about how to improve Howser but haven't acted on them for one reason or another.
Now, there is reinvigorated interest around the program with the hire of Jarrett.
"I've got to get his vision," Alford said. "He and I have talked about what I think we need. He believes in that. But he wants to look at it, and we need to look at some things together."
The Seminoles have launched a new website (LinkToFSUFuture.com) to provide information about the program and to initiate interest in a soon-to-be-announced fundraising campaign.
Along with the new playing surface, Alford said enhancements in the concourse around Howser are already in the works.
"We will soon have some renderings up there," Alford said. "We don't tell our history. It's the most historic program in college baseball. And we don't tell our fans walking through that stadium that history. We don't showcase that history enough."
Beyond structural improvements to the facilities, Jarrett is also interested in raising the standard when it comes to FSU’s practice and training technology, including cameras and advanced statistics.
“How do we use the modern technology? How do we filter that for these guys? What sort of video are we using for instruction, for scouting reports?” Jarrett explained. “What data do we have access to that actually allows them to be in a position to use it to function offensively and defensively?
“Using the modern information, with the old-school tactics, are very important. ... Take the modern tools that you have and make sure it's helping them position themselves to grow individually.”
With a goal of leading Florida State to the first national title in school history, Jarrett said he is looking forward to putting his "stamp" on the program.
“This is going to get right, and it’s going to get right starting now. And I’m not taking anything away from all of the previous coaches,” Jarrett said. “I just have to put my stamp on things and try to move it forward. … We've got to go. We have to move forward and get this thing to run properly. The way I run it."
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