When new Bronco head baseball coach Dan O'Brien came to Santa Clara from UC San Diego he didn't have to look far for one of his assistant coaches. Mike Oseguera (MO), a 2003 graduate of the University of San Diego, coached under O'Brien at UCSD for the past eight years where the Tritons compiled an overall record of 304-149 (.671) and played in eight consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association conference tournaments, collecting four wins (2005, 2009-11). SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) spoke with Oseguera about the new challenge ahead at Santa Clara.
MO: So many reasons brought me to Santa Clara. Coach O'Brien is a true friend and an incredible mentor. He does an amazing job at creating a program that not only develops and challenges players, but also the coaching staff. He is constantly providing situations and opportunities that allow me to develop as a coach and a person. Santa Clara also presented me an opportunity to help a program grow. I love the idea of helping a program finds its full potential and then work for more.
SCB: What excites you most about your first year here at Santa Clara?
MO: I'm most excited to get to work with a brand-new group of ballplayers and establish a winning tradition. I have been so impressed with the work ethic of our guys and their willingness to listen and learn. The team is full of quality individuals that are willing and able to work hard. Their enthusiasm and passion makes it easy to show up each day full of energy.
SCB: What are the keys to hitting that you will be trying to teach your players?
MO: Coaching hitters is a passion of mine and I know that Coach O'Brien and Coach Smith feel the same way. I guess that I could simplify my keys to being a successful hitter down to four points. A good hitter must constantly strive to improve his confidence, swing, plan at the plate and discipline to stick to that plan. If a hitter can practice with these points in mind then quality game results will follow. As an overall offense our hitters will share a tremendous amount of pride in having quality at-bats every time they hit. It takes a different kind of toughness to be physically and mentally ready to compete on every pitch. Our hitters will have that toughness.
SCB: How will you use your past success as a coach to help this team?
MO: My past successes as a coach are directly related to helping players reach their full potential. I've found that teams reach their peak performance more often when they are all working towards common goals and when they can play with a relaxed intensity in practice. If I can create intense situations for the team while at the same time teach them how to relax during these situations, then I feel they will be prepared to relentlessly compete at a game that they love.
SCB: What would you like to say to the fans before the season starts?
MO: This will be an exciting year for the Bronco baseball community. Our games will be fun to watch. This team is made up of talented athletes and incredible individuals. At the end of a ballgame (win or lose) we want fans to say to each other, "That is the way that baseball is supposed to be played!"