On July 12, 2019, Link Jarrett was named the 21st head coach of Notre Dame baseball. Jarrett arrived at Notre Dame after seven seasons as the head coach at UNC Greensboro. While in Greensboro, Jarrett was a two-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year and guided the Spartans to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years.
In Jarrett’s first season with the Irish, they had a strong turnaround across the board in the season that was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Irish won four of their first six games before going on a seven-game win streak up until the season was canceled on March 12. The seven-game win streak was the longest since 2016 and the Irish were off to their best start to the season since 2015. Notre Dame opened ACC play with a three-game road sweep of North Carolina, the first conference road sweep by the Irish since 2016.
Offensively, the Irish ranked fourth in the NCAA in steals per game (2.69) and ranked ninth in the country in runs per game (8.92). Under Jarrett’s aggressive style on the base paths, Spencer Myers led the country in steals (15) and steals in a game (6) while only playing 12 games. In the ACC, Notre Dame was top-three in a number of offensive categories including runs scored per game (3rd), home runs per game (3rd), walks per game (2nd), RBI per game (2nd) and led the conference in at-bats per game and stolen bases per game. Junior Niko Kavadas tied for the conference lead in home runs with seven but held the top spot in home runs per game with 0.54.
In the field, the Irish improved under Jarrett’s system and finished the season ranked fifth in the conference in fielding percentage (.971). The Irish were seventh in the NCAA in hits allowed per game (5.85) and junior Tommy Vail finished the year ranked second nationally in WHIP (0.46). Vail led the conference with five hits allowed and was second in opposing batting average with .086.
In his final season with the Spartans, they eclipsed the 30-win total for the fourth straight season after finishing 34-20. Jarrett coached one of the best relievers in college baseball in Chad Sykes, who finished the season with the lowest ERA (0.96) among Division I pitchers. He claimed SoCon Pitcher of the Year honors along with All-America honors from the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball.
The 2018 season was one of the most successful regular seasons in UNCG program history. The Spartans captured their second ever Southern Conference Regular Season Championship after going 18-3 in conference play. Overall, the Spartans finished 39-15, marking three straight seasons with 36 or more wins for the first time in program history. The Spartan offense led the SoCon in team batting average (.326) and triples (30) for the third-consecutive season. UNCG’s pitching was a key component in the 2018 team’s success, earning a 4.17 team ERA — the lowest team ERA since 2004 — and set records with strikeouts (529), opponent batting average (.254) and saves (22).
The program earned its first sweep of SoCon Player and Pitcher of the Year awards in 2018, as Andrew Moritz became the program’s first SoCon Player of the Year, and Matt Frisbee earned the program’s third Pitcher of the Year award. Both were First Team All-SoCon selections.
Moritz became one of the most decorated student-athletes in UNCG history, becoming a five-time All-American, receiving First Team honors from ABCA/Rawlings, Second Team recognition from D1Baseball.com, and Third Team All-America honors from Perfect Game/Rawlings and Baseball America. Frisbee was a Second Team All-American as named by Collegiate Baseball, and also earned Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades.
The 2018 team set a new school record with six players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft in June. Moritz was drafted in the sixth round by the Atlanta Braves, becoming the second-highest position player drafted out of UNCG in school history.
In 2017, UNCG claimed its first SoCon Tournament title and earned an NCAA tournament bid for the first time since the 1997 season. The Spartans were selected for the Clemson Regional and knocked off No. 25 St John’s in the elimination game before falling to No. 15 Clemson.
The UNCG offense continued to prove it was one of the best in the nation, leading the league in average (.320), runs (438) and triples (33) in 2017. The Spartans led the NCAA in triples as well as being in the top 25 in the country in six offensive categories. The team hit at a .333 average, allowed just 4.2 runs per game and averaged 8.67 runs, while the Spartan pitching staff earned a 4.93 earned run average, the best team ERA since the 2011 season. The pitching staff struck out 487 hitters and limited opponents to 231 free passes. The staff also set a new school record, having recorded 19 saves as a team.
Following the season, Caleb Webster was named the league’s Freshman of the Year, as well as earning Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA and First Team All-SoCon honors at third base. Sophomore centerfielder Andrew Moritz earned First Team All-SoCon after leading the league in batting average in his first two seasons in the SoCon.
In the classroom, the Spartan baseball team earned a 3.16 GPA during the championship season, setting a new program record.
In his fourth season at the helm in 2016, Jarrett earned conference Coach of the Year honors as UNCG led the SoCon in average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, sacrifice flies and finished with a SoCon best 38-21 record.
UNCG finished tied for second place, the highest finish since the 1998 season when UNCG won the SoCon regular-season championship. The Spartans ended the 2016 season setting school records in batting average (.345), runs (492), hits (726), RBI (451), doubles (145), triples (32), and on-base percentage (.425). At the conclusion of the 2016 season, UNCG led the NCAA in average, hits, doubles, triples and slugging percentage (.538).
Jarrett continued to build the program in his third season in Greensboro in 2015, coaching the Spartans to a fourth-place finish in the Southern Conference standings. UNCG ended the season in the top-25 nationally in four statistical categories including home runs per game (seventh), slugging percentage (eighth), home runs (17th) and batting average (22nd).
The program took a large step forward academically in 2015 as the team boasted a collective 3.14 grade-point average with 22 players recording a 3.0 or higher. The squad also placed 18 of its student-athletes on the 2014-15 Southern Conference Honor Roll — the most of any UNCG team.
During the 2015, 2016 and 2017 campaigns, Jarrett served as a voter on the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll and was the coaches’ representative on the Southern Conference Baseball Committee.
In his second season at the helm of the Spartan baseball program in 2014, Jarrett again led the team to the Southern Conference’s highest batting average at .310 – also good for sixth in the nation. In fact, UNCG finished in the top-50 nationally in eight different offensive categories including 22nd in runs scored per game (6.4).
Jarrett’s offensive prowess paid immediate dividends in his first season in 2013 as the team compiled a Southern Conference-best .311 batting average. It was the first time UNCG had ever finished on top of the league rankings in the statistic. In all, the Blue and Gold ended the season in the top four of the SoCon in batting average, slugging percentage, hits, doubles and sacrifice flies. On a national scale, the Spartans were 12th in batting average, 17th in slugging percentage, 23rd in doubles per game, 26th in home runs per game, 29th in hits, 31st in home runs, 33rd in scoring (runs per game) and 34th in total doubles.
In terms of individuals, Jarrett mentored senior outfielder Christian Wolfe to a record-setting season in which he finished first in the Southern Conference and second nationally with a .421 batting average – the highest single-season mark in program history. Wolfe became the first UNCG player since 2003 to earn All-America recognition as he was tabbed an All-American by three different publications. He ended the season ranked in the top-50 nationally in batting average (second), hits (26th), doubles per game (48th) and on-base percentage (49th). On the SoCon level, Wolfe checked in first in batting average, third in on-base percentage, tied for third in hits, tied for fifth in doubles and 10th in total bases.
Prior to his time in Greensboro, Jarrett spent the previous three seasons as the assistant coach/director of player development at Auburn for coach John Pawlowski. During his time at Auburn, the Tigers averaged 34 wins per season and advanced to the Southeastern Conference Tournament each year, becoming just one of five SEC schools to accomplish that feat. Under his guidance, the Tigers had 19 players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Jarrett was named SEC Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com in 2010 as he helped the Tigers post a 43-17 overall record and capture the SEC West Division championship. Auburn advanced to the NCAA tournament and hosted the NCAA Regional where it posted a .349 team batting average in the postseason.
Jarrett was in charge of the team’s offense and helped the Tigers set school records for batting average (.348), home runs (131) and slugging percentage (.591), the latter two both national bests in NCAA Division I baseball. Auburn’s 816 hits, 584 runs and 9.1 runs per game also finished in the top-10 in the nation and led the SEC. Additionally, Hunter Morris was named SEC Player of the Year in 2010.
In 2009, Jarrett helped Auburn post a 31-28 record while leading the SEC in batting average (.304), on-base percentage (.386), triples (19), and stolen bases (113). The Tigers had four players drafted in the MLB Draft while also seeing six signees selected. Auburn led the league in conference play in batting average, hits, doubles, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and total bases.
Prior to Auburn, Jarrett spent four seasons as the hitting instructor and recruiting coordinator at East Carolina under head coach Billy Godwin. He helped the Pirates advance to the NCAA tournament in his last three years while averaging 40.2 wins per season with a .639 winning percentage. He helped East Carolina to a 46-20 record in his final year in Greenville in 2009, guiding the Pirates to a NCAA Regional championship with an NCAA Super Regional appearance in Chapel Hill. East Carolina also collected the 2009 Conference USA regular-season title.
Jarrett was named the Conference USA Assistant Coach of the Year by SEBaseball.com for his work in 2009. He helped the Pirates become one of the most prolific offenses in the country, finishing with an NCAA-best 814 hits while placing fourth in runs scored (565), sixth in doubles (154), seventh in home runs (108), 12th in slugging percentage (.546) and 15th in batting average. East Carolina also led Conference USA in on-base percentage (.415), RBI (523), total bases (1310) and fielding percentage (.971). He helped recruit Conference USA Newcomer of the Year Chris Heston and All-Freshman Team selection Kevin Brandt.
In 2008, East Carolina posted a 42-21 record while finishing as runner-up in the Coastal Carolina Regional. The Pirates led Conference USA in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, RBI, home runs, total bases and walks. East Carolina advanced to the NCAA Regional in 2007 with a 40-23 record as it led the league in home runs while finishing third in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and RBI. He also recruited Conference USA Player of the Year Corey Kemp, Freshman of the Year Seth Maness, Newcomer of the Year Justin Bristow and All-Freshman Team member Dustin Harrington.
Prior to East Carolina, Jarrett spent two seasons at Mercer as the recruiting coordinator, helping the team double its win total in his first season (2004), and then topping that with the team’s first winning record since 1999 with a 28-26 mark during the 2005 campaign.
Jarrett spent the 2003 regular season at his alma mater, helping Florida State to a 54-13-1 record and a Super Regional berth as well as an ACC regular-season championship.
Jarrett began his coaching career at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1999. Over the course of three seasons, Flagler established school records in batting average, hits, doubles, fielding percentage, ERA and double plays while posting a 108-63 record (.632), with a 40-win season in 2001 and a No. 5 national ranking.
Playing Career and Personal
Jarrett was the starting shortstop on three College World Series teams at Florida State in 1991, 1992 and 1994. He earned NCBWA All-America honors as a junior and senior and still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 802. He also holds FSU records for consecutive games played (235) and at-bats (989).
Jarrett was a 22nd-round pick for the Colorado Rockies in the 1994 MLB Draft. He was voted the Most Spectacular Defensive Player in the organization in 1994 while playing for the Bend (Ore.) Rockies in Single-A and then hit .303 for the New Haven Ravens (AA) in 1997.
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.