Pitt hires ex-Florida State assistant Mike Bell to lead baseball program
Athletic director Heather Lyke looked within the ACC to find Pitt’s next baseball coach, naming Mike Bell on Tuesday as the replacement for 21-year head coach Joe Jordano. Bell spent the past seven years as Florida State’s associate head coach and pitching coach.
Since 2005, Bell has helped lead three teams to four College World Series appearances – Tennessee (2005), Oklahoma (2010) and Florida State (2012 & 2017). He has coached eight All-Americans, helped build 12 Top 25 recruiting classes and coached 47 MLB Draft choices, including 25 at Florida State. In 2012, he was named the Perfect Game Assistant Coach of the Year and the No. 13 recruiter in the nation by D1Baseball.com prior to the 2017 season.
“I am humbled to be the head coach at Pitt and I look forward to leading this great program and our exemplary student-athletes as we develop our program and compete for championships.” Bell said in a statement. “Coach Bell brings an outstanding pedigree as a player and coach,” Lyke said, “and we were impressed with his strong desire to lead our baseball program at Pitt and get connected in the city of Pittsburgh.
“Coach Bell is a thoughtful leader whose professional experience, knowledge of the game and proven track record of success will enable him to lead our baseball program into sustained success in the ACC and nationally. He has recruited and won at the highest levels and I am confident he will do the same here at Pitt.”
In five of Bell’s seven seasons, Florida State pitchers recorded 500 or more strikeouts, including a pair of top 10 seasons nationally — in 2017 (640, fifth most) and 2018 (635, seventh most). The Seminoles posted a 314-136-0 record in his tenure, reaching a Super Regional on three occasions advancing to the College World Series twice and winning the ACC tournament titles three times (2015, 2017 and 2018).
When he was at Tennessee and Oklahoma, he helped recruit and develop 22 pitchers who were selected in the MLB draft, including three first-round selections and 2006 No. 1 overall pick Luke Hochevar by the Kansas City Royals.
In four seasons at Oklahoma, Bell’s 2011 staff recorded a 3.00 ERA, the Sooners’ lowest since 1978. Four pitchers earned All-Big 12 honors, including second-team All-American Michael Rocha. In 2010, his pitching staff led OU back to the College World Series for the first time since 1995.
Bell reached the College World Series as a left-handed pitcher and first baseman at Florida State in 1994 and 1995. He was drafted in the 20th round by the Montreal Expos in 1995 and spent six seasons in the minors.