June 3, 2011

Santa Clara Announces Resignation of Baseball’s O’Brien

Note as of June 3, 2011: Jeff Mitchell is the Sport Administrator who oversees the Bronco Baseball Program. He will be the direct contact until a new head coach is hired. Jeff Mitchell can be reached at 408-551-1782 or via email at jrmitchell@scu.edu.

Santa Clara, Calif. – Santa Clara University announced Friday Bronco head baseball coach Mark O'Brien has resigned.  O'Brien recently finished his 10th season at Santa Clara University.

"When Coach O'Brien arrived on campus 10 years ago he very quickly established himself and became a key member of the Santa Clara family.  His ability to connect with people served him very well not only on the recruiting trails but with the alumni and donor communities.  He fit in well here, and it showed.  These qualities allowed Mark to usher in a new era in Santa Clara baseball with his involvement in the fundraising and construction of Stephen Schott Stadium.  Santa Clara reached several milestones under Coach O'Brien and we thank him for the first-class manner in which he conducted himself.  He will be missed," said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan.  "We will begin a national search for a head coach immediately.  Santa Clara has a proud legacy of baseball both in the West Coast Conference and at the national level and we look to continue to build on that legacy."

"I approached Dan Coonan on Wednesday and informed him of my decision to resign.   I want to thank the players who chose to play baseball at Santa Clara and also thank my coaching staff for the many hours they put in to help build our program," said O'Brien.  "I would also like to thank the University, the administration, the donors, the Bronco alumni and the fans for giving me the opportunity to be the Bronco head coach the past 10 years. I wish everyone at Santa Clara, especially the players, the best of luck in the future. With the incoming recruiting class and the returning group of players, Santa Clara can be a force to be reckoned with next year. We all want a top-notch baseball program at Santa Clara and I have offered to assist Dan Coonan in the search as he sees fit. I am looking forward to a new opportunity in baseball and excited about the possibilities that I have."

Santa Clara was 258-286 under O'Brien in his 10 years.  He coached 53 All-WCC players at Santa Clara.  O'Brien has had 29 Major League Baseball draft picks in his 10 seasons at Santa Clara and also coached 28 All-Americans as a collegiate coach (2011 Draft in late June).  The three years prior to joining the Broncos, O'Brien served as an assistant coach at Stanford. O'Brien assisted with all aspects of the program, as the Cardinal's hitting and fielding instructor and handled the duties of first base coach. During those three seasons Stanford qualified for the College World Series, taking home a third place finish in 1999 and back-to-back national runners-up in 2000 and 2001. O'Brien's infielders led the nation in 2001 with a .977 fielding percentage and were among the top-five in the nation in 1999 and 2000.