Former associate head coach at Florida State Mike Bell will take over as head coach of Pitt Baseball, according to a release from the University. His hire follows the resignation of Joe Jordano — Pitt’s former baseball coach of 21 years — on June 21.
“I want to thank Chancellor Gallagher and Heather Lyke for their belief in me to lead the Pitt baseball program,” Bell said in the release. “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 helped lead three teams — Tennessee in 2005, Oklahoma in 2010 and Florida State in 2012 and 2017 — to four College World Series appearances. In his seven years at Florida State the school won three ACC tournament titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018, achieving a 314-136-0 overall record during his tenure.
Bell explained his approach to the Panthers during his introductory press conference on Friday, which he emphasized will be “player-first” focused.
“It’s all about the student-athlete, it’ll be a players-first program. Everything we’re going to do is going to involve integrity,” Bell said. “We’re going to strive for excellence at the highest level. We’re going to strive for it on the playing field, off the playing field, in the community and more and more in your daily habits in life.”
“We’ve got physical toughness and mental toughness. I know they’re already getting stronger in the weight room, but the mental side is a big part of baseball. Can we be comfortable in uncomfortable situations? That’s up to us to prepare you for that and that’s what we’ll strive to do.”
Bell will be Athletic Director Heather Lyke’s seventh hire in her 17 months on the job, with a replacement for former softball coach Holly Aprile soon to come.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Mike Bell and his family to Pittsburgh,” Lyke said in the release. “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.”
Lyke also took to Twitter to express her excitement on the new hire.