March 8, 2006
By Erin Hussey
SCU Athletic Media Relations
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Former cross country runner and 1998 Santa Clara University alumnus, Steve O'Brien has returned to the Mission Campus as the new Athletic Academic Support Coordinator.
O'Brien's responsibilities will include general academic guidance, advising the Student Athlete Advisory Council, organizing community outreach programs, and helping Compliance Director Jay Farwell.
"I see myself as a resource for the student-athletes," O'Brien said. "I want to assist them in making the most of their academic portion of the undergraduate experience."
As an undergraduate O'Brien majored with both history and economics, was ranked in the top two percent of his class and was voted most inspirational by his fellow cross country teammates. He also volunteered for a variety of community organizations and challenges this generation of student-athletes to outshine his efforts.
"Community outreach is very important," he said. "Student-athletes are great role models and have a lot of skills that they can devote to bettering their community at large."
O'Brien is trying to bring the SCU campus family together as well. He, along with SAAC are organizing a dodge ball tournament where faculty, staff, alumni, student-athletes, and non-student-athletes are encouraged to play.
"We are thrilled to have former Bronco Steve O'Brien back in the fold," said Dan Coonan, SCU's director of athletics and recreation. "He has already had a tremendous impact upon our Academic Services Unit and our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He is exceedingly bright, has a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm, and a clear passion for the mission of the department. I know he will do wonderful things for Santa Clara Athletics."
During his time away from SCU, O'Brien graduated from the University of Southern California Law School with honors and practiced transactional finance and real estate law for three and half years. But when the opportunity to work in college athletic administration presented itself, O'Brien couldn't resist.
"I'm really excited to be back here at Santa Clara," he said. "I left a career in law because working in athletics is something that I'm passionate about and working for Santa Clara is a huge bonus."