The 2011 season will be the ninth at Santa Clara for pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Mike Zirelli. The 2011 campaign will mark Zirelli's seventh as the Broncos' pitching coach and third directing all aspects of player recruitment.
Taking over as pitching coach midway through the 2004 season, Zirelli has been instrumental in developing four Santa Clara pitchers into All-Americans and recruiting and developing a number of MLB Draft picks. A record-setting pitcher at Cal Poly, Zirelli was originally hired as SCU's director of baseball operations in 2002.
Zirelli has coached some of the nation's best young players in a pair of prestigious wood bat summer leagues. He served as the pitching coach for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League in 2004, helping lead the Red Sox to a league championship. During the summer of 2003, he mentored the pitchers for the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaska Baseball League.
A graduate of Cal Poly, Zirelli played for the Mustangs from 1996-99. While on the San Luis Obispo campus, Zirelli established himself as one of the best collegiate pitchers to ever wear a Cal Poly uniform. He was an All-Big West Conference award-winner and a freshman All-American. He also earned 'Player of the Decade' recognition from Cal Poly in 1999.
Following his time with the Mustangs, the San Francisco Giants selected Zirelli in the 23rd round of the 1999 MLB First Year Player Draft. During his time in the Giants minor league system he played for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the Bakersfield Blaze and the San Jose Giants.
Despite his professional commitments, Zirelli found time to return to Cal Poly and earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology in 2002.
A Bay Area native, Zirelli was selected as the Santa Clara County player of the year while playing at St. Francis High School. He was named a prep All-American at the AAU Junior Olympics in Knoxville, Tenn., where his team claimed the bronze medal in 1993. He also earned 'Player of the Year' honors for both the Central Coast Section and the Western Catholic Athletic League.
Zirelli is married to the former Amanda Martin, and the couple has two young children, Zack and Rocco. The Zirelli family resides in San Carlos, Calif.