Mark Martinez has contract extended through 2023


File Photo

Head coach Mark Martinez looks on from the dugout during the 2016 season.

by Abraham Jewett, Sports Editor

San Diego State baseball head coach Mark Martinez has received a five-year contract extension, which will keep him at the helm through the 2023 season.

The extension was announced by SDSU athletic director John David Wicker on Aug. 14, following a year in which Martinez became the fastest head coach to reach three Mountain West Conference Championships, doing so in four seasons.

“It’s a great day for me. I am so excited and honored,” Martinez said at a press conference on Aug. 16. “I can’t thank the university (enough) for allowing me to continue having a blast, the time of my life here at San Diego State.”

Martinez has been a part of the Aztecs coaching staff since 2006, but was promoted to the head coaching role for the 2015 season following the passing of legendary head coach Tony Gwynn in June of 2014.

Martinez made sure to mention Gwynn, his close friend who he joined as an assistant at SDSU after a 17-year stint at the University of New Mexico from 1989-2015.

“I also want to thank, again, Tony Gwynn for allowing me to come over to San Diego State and be a part of a great university,” Martinez said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Tony, so I always have to make sure to give a shout out to him.”

Martinez has a career record of 143-103 since taking over as head coach, and is coming off a 39-win season and the Aztecs’ fourth MWC championship in five seasons.

Martinez attributed much of SDSU’s recent success to the stability that the team has enjoyed between himself and his assistant coaches Joe Olivera and Sam Peraza.

“In order to be successful —and we’ve had some success since I’ve been here at San Diego State — you’ve got to surround yourself with great people and I have two of the best assistant coaches in the country in Joe Olivera and Sam Peraza,” Martinez said. “I wouldn’t be sitting here obviously… we have a lot of success because those guys do the heavy lifting.”

Olivera has worked as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator since 2014, while Sam Peraza has been the Aztecs pitching coach since 2015.

Despite coming off a conference championship and nearly reaching 40 victories, SDSU was unable to advance past the NCAA regionals in May, and Martinez said that by signing the extension the university is making it clear that it wants to further compete on a national level.

“Ultimately the goal here is to go compete for a national championship,” Martinez said. “When you extend a contract like that… the expectation is that we continue to work to be in the national conversation every single year. And so that’s my job as a head coach to put us in positions to win on a national level and those are the expectations that we have in our baseball program.”