Chase Haney has made the walk to the mound a near school-record 107 times during his career as a pitcher for the Florida State baseball team. He’s been called up to make that same walk three times at the College World Series, where he has yet to allow a single run. In seven appearances during three NCAA Regional and Super Regional games, he’s allowed only two earned runs.
But on Friday, when FSU President John Thrasher makes the call for the tall righthander, Haney will make the most important walk (albeit virtually) of his collegiate career as a member of the Florida State Class of 2020.
Haney will realize a lifelong dream as he is presented with his master’s degree in Sport Management. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Commercial Entrepreneurship from Florida State in 2019. He’s already decided to return for a sixth year in the garnet and gold after Covid-19 ended the 2020 season before it really got started. Haney begins working toward a second Baccalaureate degree in September.
Haney is one of 2,510 students and 22 student-athletes who will receive their degrees as Florida State’s Summer 2020 Virtual Commencement. Leonard Hamilton, the 2020 ACC Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, is the featured commencement speaker. The graduation program begins at 7:30 and can be streamed at commencement.fsu.edu.
“My goal was to graduate from college, but it wasn’t until I arrived at Florida State that I realized there was much more to college than attending classes and playing baseball,” Haney said. “College has been about relationships, fan support, community and university involvement. I have developed a deep, lifelong connection to Florida State University – much like the connection I have with my own family.”
Education has always been important to the Winter Garden, Fla., native. He’s been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll five times, to the All-ACC Academic Baseball Team twice and was an Academic All-District honoree by the College Sports Information Directors in 2020. He has been named to the Florida State Academic Dean’s List five times.
“Education is extremely important,” Haney said. “My father has been employed in the coaching and education fields his entire 40-year career. He always told me to use my athletic talent to get my degree in college. Both my brother, JP, and I have master’s degrees.”
As he approaches his sixth season as a Seminole, Haney has become a big part of Florida State’s incredible tradition. He’s been a member of two ACC Championship teams (2017, 2018), three NCAA Regional Championship teams (2016, 2017, 2019) and two College World Series teams (2017, 2019).
Haney appears prominently in the Seminoles’ record book. He is ranked fifth in career relief appearances (107) and eighth in career pitching appearances (107). He is ranked twice in the top-25 for single season relief appearances (in 2017 and 2019) and threw one inning in Florida State’s combined no-hitter against Maine on February 15, 2019.
While Haney has enjoyed a fabulous career as a Seminole, his career hasn’t been all about one-two-three strikes and you’re out.
Haney worked himself back from the toughest injury – and endured as tough a surgery – a pitcher can imagine. In July of 2017, during a summer league game, he suffered an arm injury and was forced to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery to repair ligament damage in his pitching arm.
Looking back on his redshirt year, Haney best describes it as an opportunity.
“I say this because 2018 was an opportunity for me to reinvent myself,” said Haney. “I have always thought of myself as a baseball player. When that was taken away from me, I took advantage of the situation and got more involved in SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), university run organizations, and in the community. I learned more about myself as a person and worked to become a more diverse leader. Beyond that, it was an opportunity for me to show myself that I could overcome adversity and come back a better player and person the following season. As I reflect on that year, I see it as a blessing that I am forever grateful for.”
During his rehabilitation, Haney became a better teammate and an active member of the campus community.
For Clayton Kwiatkowski, a teammate of Haney’s for the last four seasons, he has certainly appreciated Haney’s desire to become an active and vocal leader.
“I can honestly say I can’t think of too many guys or athletes that really care about not only their sports team but the university as well like Chase Haney does,” Kwiatkowski said. “He’s so much more involved with Florida State, even beyond baseball, that his mark on the university and athletic program alone will be hard to compete with for a long time.
“When Meat (Head Coach Mike Martin, Jr.) named him our captain last year, I knew Chase was going to have his hands full. But within all my years at Florida State I knew he’d be perfect for the job even with juggling grad school, SAAC, being captain of the baseball team and many other involvements he has dedicated himself to.”
When Martin took over as Florida State’s head coach in June of 2019, one of his first baseball decisions was to make Haney a team captain.
“Chase Haney is the epitome of a student-athlete,” said Martin. “The way he goes about his business on the field, off the field and in the classroom is unmatched. He has always taken great pride in his work ethic and how he treats others from the day he first stepped on campus. Our program will always be grateful he is a member, as he is the ultimate teammate and captain.”
Haney has a lot to look back on during his career.
He’ll always remember his first ACC appearance, which came against Georgia Tech during his freshman season. He entered the game in relief and finished it without allowing a run in 3 2/3 innings pitched.
He was a part of history as the winning pitcher on March 9, 2019 – finishing a 5-2 win over Virginia Tech – to give the legendary Mike Martin his 2000th career win.
He earned his first CWS win as he finished Florida State’s 6-4 win over Cal State Fullerton on June 19, 2017 in Omaha.
Haney also has a lot to look forward to in 2021.
Because his redshirt senior year was taken from him by the pandemic screaming across the country, he will return to the mound in Dick Howser Stadium as one of Florida State’s team captains in 2021.
“My hope was to play professional baseball after the 2020 season,” said Haney. “The coronavirus has affected collegiate athletics in many ways. Spring sport student athletes being given another year of eligibility has created a lot of pressure for the universities and coaches with expanded rosters. I am sure there are more effects to come.”
Before he begins his final season as a Seminole, Haney will hear his named called once again. But instead of running in from the bullpen, he’ll simply have to move his graduation tassel to the left side of his cap.
2020 Summer Graduates
Jose Brizuela, Baseball (Degree Completion)
Daniel De La Calle, Baseball (Degree Completion)
Leslie Farris, Softball
Justin Lindner, Men’s Basketball
Maxim Polianski, Men’s Swimming
Veronika Kanuchova, Women’s Track
Kyle Fearrington, Men’s Track
Elizabeth Jenkins, Women’s Track
Eleanor Wallace, Women’s Cross Country
Shanice Love, Women’s Track
Chase Haney, Baseball
Jasmyn Martin, Beach Volleyball
Alice Zeimann, Beach Volleyball
Jake Suddreth, Baseball
Payton Caffrey, Beach Volleyball
David Lott, Men’s Track
Sidney Oakes-Lottridge, Women’s Track
Joseph Schergen, Football
Blaik Middleton, Football
Alexander Strozier, Football
Carter Smith, Baseball
Safia Morgan, Women’s Track