June 11, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University has named Mark O'Brien, one of the nation's most successful Division I assistant coaches and a Mountain View, Calif. native, as the 35th head coach in the school's 119-year baseball history, Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick announced today.
"We are thrilled to have Mark O'Brien lead our baseball program," said Levick. "He has deep ties to the Bay Area and is well-known among the local high school and college baseball circles. Mark is a successful recruiter and has an excellent coaching and teaching pedigree. As a native of the area, Mark is very familiar with Santa Clara University's athletic tradition and is well-equipped to help us achieve our goals of regaining a position of national prominence on the baseball field."
O'Brien, currently an assistant coach at Stanford University, will begin his duties at Santa Clara on June 18 following the conclusion of the Cardinal's appearance in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The CWS championship game is scheduled for Saturday, June 16. Terms of O'Brien's five-year contract were not disclosed.
"I am truly excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve as Santa Clara University's baseball coach," said O'Brien. "I grew up watching some great college baseball players and coaches at Buck Shaw Stadium and always felt that Santa Clara University was a place I'd like to be. There is certainly a commitment to success at Santa Clara University and our baseball program will be reflective of that both on the field off of it. I believe we can win championships at Santa Clara University and our program will focus every ounce of energy in working toward doing exactly that, while representing the institution in a first-class manner."
A 1993 graduate of San Jose State University, O'Brien has served in a variety of head and assistant coaching capacities over the last eight years. He began his career as the head coach of the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaska League for one summer, while also serving as the head assistant baseball coach at Cal Poly for the 1996 and 1997 seasons. While at Cal Poly, he served as the program's recruiting coordinator and attracted classes that were rated among the top 40 in the country.
Following his stint at Cal Poly, O'Brien served as the head coach at DeAnza College for the 1998 season and mentored each of the nine sophomore players on the team to advance their education at four-year institutions.
O'Brien has served as an assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator for the past three years at Stanford University and helped lead the Cardinal to three straight appearances in the prestigious College World Series. Stanford compiled a 150-47 record over the last three years for a .761 winning percentage with O'Brien handling the hitting and infield coaching duties. He also served as the team's first base coach and is heavily involved in all phases of recruiting.
A graduate of Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., O'Brien began his college career as a baseball player at DeAnza College and San Jose State. While at DeAnza, he earned all-Northern California honors and was an all-Alaska League player during the summer of 1991. After earning a scholarship at San Jose State, O'Brien served as a team captain and was the program's defensive player of the year and was a two-time scholar athlete honoree.