By Joey Karp
SANTA CALRA, Calif. – Santa Clara University head baseball coach Dan O'Brien announced Thursday he has hired Gabe Ribas as the team's new pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Ribas has experience both as a pitcher in the Big Ten Conference and the minor leagues and as an assistant coach the past five years at the collegiate level. Ribas has been at Northern Colorado for the past year.
"Gabe is first and foremost an outstanding human being," said O'Brien. "I truly believe that Gabe is one of the best kept secrets in the coaching community today. He is the right guy to help us build something very special here at Santa Clara."
"I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Coach O'Brien's new staff," said Ribas. "I think the baseball program is going in an incredibly upward direction and Bronco baseball is in very good hands at this point."
Prior to Northern Colorado, Ribas spent the 2009 season at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. where he worked primarily with pitchers and coordinated their recruiting efforts. From 2007-2009 he worked at Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., where he was the outfielders' coach and handled most of the recruiting responsibilities. The 2007 season was spent as a full-time staff member at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he worked directly with the pitchers. Ribas began his coaching career at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 2006 as the team's pitching coach.
Selected by the San Diego Padres in the 14th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Draft, Ribas earned the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year award by going 8-1 with 16 saves in his first professional season. The same season he was named to the Northwest League All-Star team. In 2003 Ribas was named the Padres' Minor League Pitcher of the Year after he had an organizational-best 17-8 record and led all Padres' minor leaguers in strikeouts.
Ribas was a member of the Northwestern University baseball program as a pitcher from 1999-02 and ranks among the school's leaders in numerous statistical categories. He is second in Wildcat history with 330.1 innings pitched, 288 strikeouts and 51 games started. Ribas posted a career record of 21-22, was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2000, a Big Ten all-tournament team pick in 2002 and three times was named Academic All-Big Ten.
Ribas earned a dual-degree in 2002 from Northwestern in communications and English.
As a high school player, Ribas was named the 1998 Maine State Player of the Year by USA Today.
O'Brien was announced as Santa Clara's new head baseball coach on June 30, 2011.