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Notre Dame Baseball

Emotional Jarrett says 'Swarbrick would have done everything' to keep him

June 24, 2022

Despite nearly two full weeks’ speculation that a Link Jarrett return to his alma mater, Florida State, was as certain as an Niko Kavadas blast or artful, workmanlike effort from ace pitcher John Michael Bertrand, behind-the-scenes video released Friday from Notre Dame showed both an emotional Jarrett and similarly passionate Notre Dame Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick as Jarrett formally told the Fighting Irish of his impending departure.

“The best thing that ever happened to me was getting the job at Notre Dame,” said Jarrett, who earlier this week drew praise in Omaha, Nebraska, at the College World Series when he stridently praised “the future world leaders” who comprised Notre Dame baseball. “The best. There’s no, not even close.

“You guys impacted me, my family, my career, and (emotional), I will never, ever forget what it felt like with you guys in here.”

Jarrett also revealed, unprompted, that Swarbrick – on hand for the Irish’s stunning dismissal of top-ranked and top-seeded Tennessee two weeks ago in the Knoxville Super Regional, as well as present throughout Notre Dame’s CWS run – had arrived at the bargaining table prepared to do anything in his power to maintain Jarrett & Co. atop the Fighting Irish diamond program.

“Jack would have done everything in his power to keep me here as head coach; everything,” said Jarrett, who won 86 games and was named the National College Baseball Writers Association National Coach of the Year in 2022. “This was not about money, this was not about that.

“(Swarbrick) was addressing all that with me, in terms of (saying), ‘What can we do to keep it going?’ He would have … he was doing that. I couldn’t make this decision based on those factors in my life right now. Couldn’t do it. But I feel a responsibility right now to my parents, and my wife’s parents, who have nobody else around to help them and ultimately that was an overriding factor in what I felt like I had to do right now.”

As he had done immediately upon Brian Kelly’s far less impassioned exit from Notre Dame, Swarbrick waded into the Irish locker room to immediately address both Jarrett’s departure and the trajectory of the program with current players, coaches and staff.

“To me, this is kind of a quintessential Notre Dame day,” Swarbrick said. “Because this place is all about family. And today’s all about family, but for as much as I know a transition like this is difficult and not something any of wants, I hope you’ll see reason to celebrate. I hope you’ll see how special this family is that you’ve created and how cool it is that the person who’s led you for three-plus years is making the difficult decision to leave this family because of his obligation to his other family.

“That’s Notre Dame. That’s where we should be.”

Jarrett, a former FSU All-American and still a program record-holder with family still residing in Tallahassee, Florida, received a seven-year contract worth well more than $6 million to return to his alma mater.

The Irish, per sources, already have initiated their search for Jarrett’s replacement, and, as noted, sources have expressly told Irish Sports Daily that former coach Paul Mainieri is not a candidate in this process. 

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