search button
newscenter logo
Saturday, September 30, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Baseball head coach Mark Martinez gestured toward the team during  game at SDSU's Tony Gwynn Stadium. Baseball head coach Mark Martinez gestured toward the team during game at SDSU's Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Mark Martinez Retires as Aztec Baseball Head Coach

In a career furthered by Padres great Tony Gwynn, Martinez led the team to 257 victories.
By GoAztecs

The San Diego State baseball program enters a new chapter after longtime head coach Mark Martinez announced his retirement on Thursday.

A veteran of 1,144 victories since the launch of his coaching career nearly 40 years ago, Martinez compiled a 257-217 record (.542) in nine seasons as the Aztecs' skipper, winning three Mountain West tournament championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018 to go with one regular-season title in 2023.

With his totals, Martinez ranks seventh in conference history with 134 wins in conference play. In addition, his .551 winning percentage in MW regular-season games (134-109) is eighth on the league's all-time charts.

Prior to his elevation to head coach, Martinez spent nine years (2006-14) as an assistant at SDSU under the late Tony Gwynn, serving as the program's associate head coach before succeeding the Baseball Hall-of-Famer on August 20, 2014.

“Thank you to my family,” Martinez said. “My wife, Jada, has believed in me from our beginning and has been the backbone of our family. She is my ‘why’ and I look forward to more time exploring the world together. … I'm blessed with two great kids. I thank them for their undying support and matched passion for our program and my experiences.”

Under Martinez's tutelage, the Aztecs garnered 46 all-Mountain West accolades since 2015, including four conference Pitcher of the Year honorees, one MW Player of the Year recipient and one league Freshman of the Year winner.

In addition, Martinez mentored six student-athletes who captured 11 All-America honors, including two Freshman All-Americans, while nine of his pupils received all-region acclaim.

“Mark has had a tremendous run over the last 18 seasons at San Diego State, including the last nine as the head coach,” said SDSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics JD Wicker. “Mark's teams have been competitive on and off the field, and he has left a lasting mark on Aztec Baseball. He has left the program in a good place and I'm appreciative of his efforts.”

Since Martinez's arrival on The Mesa, the Aztecs have had 53 student-athletes chosen in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, with 13 of those selections making the big leagues.

Along with on-field success, the Aztecs excelled academically during Martinez's tenure, posting the highest APR and the best team GPA in the history of the program. Over the past nine years, SDSU has had 75 players earn Mountain West all-academic honors while setting team records for the number of scholar-athletes.

The Aztecs claimed a share of the Mountain West 2023 regular-season title with an 18-11 mark in conference play. SDSU's MW regular-season championship was the program's third overall and first since 2004, as Martinez garnered conference Co-Coach of the Year accolades.

In his inaugural campaign as head coach in 2015, Martinez saw his team capture its third consecutive Mountain West tournament championship and earn a third straight berth in the NCAA Regionals.

After spending the previous 17 years as an assistant coach at New Mexico, Martinez was hired in a similar capacity at SDSU in July 2005, initially overseeing Aztec infielders and coaching at third base. Along with Gwynn, Martinez helped the Aztecs end an 18-year drought from NCAA postseason play with a regional appearance in 2009.

“I want to thank Tony Gwynn and the Gwynn family for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to coach at SDSU,” Martinez said. “Coach Gwynn changed our life's trajectory and I'm forever grateful. Finally, I want to thank all the players that touched my life and made me better each day I got to mentor them. In addition, thank you to all the coaches I've worked with and competed against. You helped me learn and grow from the information we shared. I look forward to the next chapter and know that our program is in good hands moving forward.”

During this transition, pitching coach Shaun Cole will serve as acting head coach.