Has coached 26 future MLB players
Third coach in 125 years at SCU to reach 200+ wins
26 MLB Draft picks in nine seasons at Santa Clara
College World Series coaching at Stanford (2001, 2000 & 1999)
Three-straight top-40 recruiting classes at Cal Poly
Santa Clara University head baseball coach and Bay Area native Mark O'Brien owns 241 career victories, just the third coach in SCU's 125-year baseball history to reach the 200-win milestone.
O'Brien signed a multi-year contract extension in 2008 after leading the Broncos to their best season in more than a decade. O'Brien's 2008 squad twice beat NCAA Champion Fresno State University en route to posting a 33-22 overall record. 2008 highlights included: 10 All-WCC selections, an All-America honoree and six players signing professional contracts.
Entering his tenth year in 2010-11, O'Brien became Santa Clara's 35th head coach when he was hired on June 11, 2001. Immediate success ensued. In his second season, he guided the Broncos to their first winning season since 1997, posting a 31-26 record and a 21-9 mark in league play in 2003.
He became only the fourth coach in program history to win his 50th game in only his second season as head coach, joining Sal Taormina, Jerry McClain and John Oldham. The win was a savory one as he watched his team defeat the second-ranked Stanford Cardinal 2-0 in Sunken Diamond, giving him his second career win over his former team.
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 was among the top-five in the nation in 1999 and 2000.
Throughout his extensive coaching career, O'Brien has tutored 28 All-Americans. In his first three-years as the Broncos' skipper, O'Brien produced four All-Americans, becoming the first coach in school history to produce four All-Americans in such a short amount of time.
Joey Gomes was a first-team selection in 2002 followed by Scott Dierks and Patrick Overholt in 2003, who earned honorable mention and Freshman All-America honors respectively. In 2004, Anthony Rea was a second-team honoree. In 2006, Matt Long and Matt Wickswat earned freshman team honors, while catcher
Tommy Medica was named a Freshman All-American in 2007 and a Collegiate Baseball Third Team All-American in 2010. Pitcher Thain Simon earned Freshman All-American honors in 2008. Following the 2009 season O'Brien saw standout infielder Jon Karcich drafted in the 7th-round of the MLB First Year Player Draft.
On May 27, 2010, former O'Brien understudy Matt Daily, who served on the SCU coaching staff as an assistant from 2005-08, was named the Baseball Coach of the Year by the Association of Division III Independent Colleges and Universities in just his second year at the helm of the Menlo College Oaks. Daily directly credited O'Brien for assisting him in his coaching development: "I feel that Coach O'Brien is one of the top Head Baseball Coaches on the West Coast, and having the opportunity to work with he and the rest of his staff was a tremendous and invaluable experience. Many of the things we do within our own Menlo program are based upon his model for success. He is an exceptional motivator and competitor, and I was extremely fortunate to have been given the chance to learn as part of his baseball staff and his program. He is a proven winner in every facet of the game, on the field and off of it."
O'Brien was a critical component to the recruiting efforts while at Stanford. The recruited class in 2001 was ranked No. 1 in the nation, while the classes in 1999 and 2000 were ranked in the top-10. His talents of recruiting can be traced back even to his earlier days at De Anza and Cal Poly. At De Anza, O'Brien was able to recruit 12 local high school seniors within a two-week period, while helping all nine sophomores already on the team continue on to four-year institutions. While at Cal Poly, O'Brien assisted in recruiting three-straight classes that were ranked in the top-40 by Collegiate Baseball.
In his one season as head coach at De Anza, O'Brien led the Dons to a third-place finish in the Coast Conference. At Cal Poly, he served as recruiting coordinator, academic advisor and third base coach, as well as hitting and infield instructor. During the summers of 1996 and 1997, O'Brien served as head coach of the Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska Summer League. He led the Bucs to a 68-40 record and a league championship in 1996, while coaching four eventual first-round draft picks (Matt Ginter, Danny Peoples, Mark Redman and Alvie Shepard).
Throughout his coaching career O'Brien has helped over 80 players advance on to professional baseball, including 10 first-round draft picks. O'Brien's list of first-rounders includes: Joe Borchard, Justin Wayne, Jason Young and the four players from the Anchorage Bucs. He also coached the 1999 Minor League `Player of the Year' and future Oakland A's outfielder Adam Piatt.
Currently, there are 26 players in the major leagues that have played under O'Brien at some level.
Other notable players that O'Brien has coached at some critical point of their career include: current Chicago White Sox slugger Carlos Quentin, Stanford's all-time leading hitter and World Series winner John Gall, three-time All-American and Pac-10 RBI record-holder Andrew Beinbrink, Santa Clara All-American Bill Mott, NCAA all-time career saves leader Jack Krawczyk, and MLB veterans Ryan Garko and Sam Fuld.
O'Brien played collegiately at San Jose State from 1991-92 and was the Spartans' team captain in his final year. He was also named an Alaska Summer League All-Star in 1991 after coming to SJSU from St. Francis High School and De Anza College. O'Brien was recently elected into the St. Francis High School Hall of Fame.
He resides in Los Gatos with his wife Staci Duncan, a former women's soccer All-American at UCLA and the Bruins' all-time leader in points scored. In 2008, Staci was elected into the Hall of Fame at her prep alma mater, Archbishop Mitty High School.
The couple have two young daughters.