Keller: First year as Noles' pitching coach is one of renovation, not reconstruction

Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 2:31 PM EST
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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports

February 21, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Despite their consistency in a sport that is anything but, Florida State is in the midst of a period of change. Not only will the Seminoles be under new leadership next season, with the retirement of Mike Martin, but the Noles had to replace pitching coach Mike Bell at the end of last season after he took the head job at Pitt.

The move gave Clyde Keller his chance to have an increased impact on the Tribe.

Opening day no-hitters are rare in every level of baseball, but they're even rarer when a new pitching coach is calling signals.

"I got multiple texts saying 'It's all down hill from here,'" Keller joked on Thursday in his first media availability since being promoted to FSU's pitching coach. "But, you couldn't have asked for anything better in that situation."

Keller became one of those rarities last Friday, when the FSU staff no-hit the Maine Black Bears in his first game as FSU's pitching coach, and the first time he's been the main pitching coach with a college program since leading the arms at Western Kentucky University in 2000.

Keller says coaching full time again still feels natural.

"Got a regular job for a while, but I was always in the game and then once I got back up here, it was like riding a bike again," he explained.

But baseball has changed since Keller's stint with the Hilltoppers: metrics and data have changed the way we view the game and are tools he's happy to embrace.

"That's the advantages of today's game, you've got a lot more information at your disposal, so Mike Martin Jr. and I, we really sit down a lot and talk about things early," Keller explained. "We're talking constantly throughout the game about what we want to do with certain hitters and how we're going to attack them."

But, with a talented staff returning and a solid foundation, Keller knows this is a renovation, not a reconstruction.

"You don't want to destroy what's already been built up. Mike Bell did such a tremendous job here that one of my main goals was to keep what was good and what he built up and just kind of enhance everything along the way," Keller said.

Keller's full media availability can be seen in its entirety at the top of the page.