July 15, 2004
Zirelli will begin his first full season as the Bronco pitching coach after serving in the position in the latter stages of the 2004 campaign. It will mark his third season with the program after serving as the team's Director of Baseball Operations in 2002.
"We are extremely excited to have Mike take a new role on our staff," said O'Brien. "His knowledge of pitching and his energy and passion for the game are second to none. Most importantly, Mike is very loyal, trust worthy and dedicated to our program. He is highly organized and his work ethic is outstanding. I believe he will become one of the bright and up and coming assistants in the country."
Continuing his duties from the 2004 season, Zirelli will tutor the Bronco pitchers and assist both O'Brien and assistant coach Mike Oakland in recruiting. Zirelli has already been an instrumental part of the Bronco recruiting efforts as he has been involved with the process throughout his time with the program.
Under Zirelli's coaching, Bronco pitcher Anthony Rea earned All-America honors from both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA. Rea's 13 saves set a new school record and paced the West Coast Conference last season. His save mark also tied for fourth among NCAA Division I relievers.
"I am looking forward to my new role in the Santa Clara baseball program," said Zirelli. "It is going to be a great opportunity for me to lead the Bronco pitchers and help to improve upon the success this program has already achieved."
Zirelli has also coached in the two most prestigious summer leagues in the country as he is currently the pitching coach for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Last summer, he mentored the pitchers for the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaska Baseball League.
Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Zirelli played professionally in the San Francisco Giants organization after being selected in the 23rd round of the 1999 Major League Baseball amateur draft. During his time in the minor league ranks, he played for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the Bakersfield Blaze and the San Jose Giants.
The Giants selected Zirelli out of Cal Poly where he played from 1996-1999. While in San Luis Obispo, he earned Freshman All-America and All-Big West Conference accolades. The Mustang program also named him the Player of the Decade in 1999. Zirelli also earned his bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly in 2002.
Zirelli, a Bay Area native, is currently single and resides in Santa Clara.