Sept. 23, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University baseball coach Mark O'Brien has received a new three-year contract effective immediately, Director of Athletics Dan Coonan announced today.
"Mark is, without a doubt, one of the brightest young coaches in the country and has our program on track to compete for a national title within the foreseeable future," said Coonan. "He is a phenomenal recruiter, a tireless worker, a great ambassador for Santa Clara and as good at building relationships with fans, alumni and donors as any coach I have ever seen. He was so instrumental in our ability to build Stephen Schott Stadium, one of the best facilities on the West Coast. He fits in so well here, and we are thrilled to have him here at Santa Clara."
O'Brien, 35, signed a three-year agreement to remain the Broncos' mentor following a four-season run in which Santa Clara University opened the new $8.6 million Stephen Schott Baseball Stadium, renewed the optimism surrounding the program and improved the process of recruiting national championship caliber student-athletes. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are continuing to build upon the great tradition of success here at Santa Clara University and I am excited to continue to work to take the program to new heights," said O'Brien, who joined Santa Clara in 2001. "Our players, coaches and administration are all working together to provide the best possible opportunity to make that happen. We have some of the best facilities in the country, an elite academic institution and an administration and fan base that are committed to success. I want to thank Fr. Paul Locatelli and Dan Coonan for their commitment to me and to the baseball program. I think we are on the verge of making special things happen here at SCU."
Since arriving at SCU in the summer of 2001, O'Brien has overseen a steady rise in the Bronco baseball program. Three of his recruiting classes have ranked among the national top-20 and five Broncos have earned All-America honors. The team has finished second in the West Coast Conference in three of the last four years despite having lost six top-notch signees to the major league draft. O'Brien has coached 19 players who have entered the professional major leagues, 22 All-Americans and 12 first round draft picks.
A 1993 graduate of San Jose State University, O'Brien served in a variety of head and assistant coaching capacities over the eight years prior to coming to SCU. 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 served as an assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator for 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 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 was 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.