2011 Daktronics West Region Coach of the Year
2011 NCBWA West Region Co-Coach of the Year
2011 CCAA Coach of the Year
2010 NCBWA National Coach of the Year
2010 ABCA/Rawlings West Region Coach of the Year
2010 NCBWA West Region Coach of the Year
2010 CCAA Coach of the Year
2010 FieldTurf Coach of the Year
2009 NCBWA National Coach of the Year
2009 ABCA/Rawlings West Region Coach of the Year
2009 CCAA Coach of the Year
Dan O’Brien completed the 2016-17 season, his sixth and final season as the head coach of Santa Clara. The Broncos went 13-40 overall and 9-18 in the West Conference. O'Brien complied a 128-194 mark, including 53-103 in the WCC, during his tenure at Santa Clara. He led the Broncos to the 2014 WCC Tournament after finishing in a tie for fourth in the league standings. During his time at Santa Clara there were eight players, including five in the last two seasons, selected in the MLB Draft. In that six-year span, there were 21 all-league honorees and 11 members of the WCC All-Academic team.
The Broncos went 23-29 overall and 10-17 in West Coast Conference play in the 2016 season. They went 3-1 against ranked opponents, including a series victory over No. 24 Notre Dame on opening weekend and a 5-3 win over No. 14 Michigan on Feb. 28. The Broncos won at least one game against all five opponents that went on to make the NCAA Tournament (Gonzaga, New Mexico, Saint Mary's, Utah Valley, Washington). Mitchell White was the West Coast Conference Regular Season Strikeout Champion; his 118 Ks were the most by a Bronco pitcher since 1995. He tied for seventh in the NCAA in regular season strikeouts. White was selected in the second round (65th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2016 MLB Draft, the highest Bronco draft pick since Randy Winn in 1995.
Santa Clara went 26-28 overall and 12-15 in conference play in its 2015 campaign. The Broncos opened the season at defending national champion and unanimous preseason No. 1 Vanderbilt, and won Game 1 of a doubleheader 7-6 on Saturday, Feb. 14 over the Commodores. The team won 10 of its last 14 games, including a stretch that featrued a seven-game winning streak (the longest since 2001) as well as five-game WCC winning streak, both of which were the longest such streaks with O'Brien as head coach. The Broncos have posted 28 WCC wins between the 2014-15 seasons, the most in consecutive years since 2003-04.
Bronco Baseball finished the 2014 season with a 26-30 overall record, including a 16-11 West Coast Conference mark good for a tie for fourth and an appearance in the WCC Baseball Championship. O'Brien's Broncos won seven WCC series overall, including five straight to close out the regular season, beginning with a three-game sweep of the San Diego Toreros at Fowler Park. The team that featured six all-WCC honorees won the most conference games for the program since 2004.
The team started the 2013 season with back-to-back wins over Seattle and wrapped-up the year with a victory at LMU. The Broncos took down Stanford 3-0 on May 14. In O'Brien's first season in 2012 the Broncos started the season 5-0 with wins over Texas State, Wichita State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Cal Poly. Santa Clara would go on to win 26 games, the most since 2008.
Over eight seasons, O'Brien's UC San Diego Tritons qualified for five NCAA Division II West Regional showings, two NCAA National Championship Finals appearances and set a school record for wins four times. O’Brien, a 1995 graduate of UCSD, is easily the winningest coach in program history, holding a career record of 454-283-1 (.616) through the 2011 campaign. In 2011, starting pitchers Tim Shibuya and Guido Knudson became UCSD's first Major League Baseball draft picks since 2003. All told, 42 Tritons have earned All-West Region accolades since UCSD moved to Division II in 2001, while 72 student-athletes have been named to All-CCAA teams.
Under O'Brien's guidance, the Tritons earned berths in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship (CCAA) Tournament eight years running, winning the tournament title in 2005, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11. UCSD has also made five consecutive NCAA Regional appearances and claimed back-to-back West Regional crowns in 2009 and ‘10.
After reaching the national championship game in 2010, the Tritons lived up to their billing again in 2011, winning their third consecutive CCAA regular season and tournament titles. As the No. 1 seed, UCSD hosted the West Regional for the first time in program history. The Tritons were ranked in the national top-30 all season and held the No. 1 spot for two straight weeks in February. Ending the year at No. 6, UCSD finished with a 42-15 overall record and a 29-11 mark in CCAA play. The Tritons strung together a school-record 19-game winning streak between April 9 and May 14.
O'Brien was honored as the 2011 Daktronics West Region Coach of the Year, the NCBWA West Region Co-Coach of the Year and the CCAA Coach of the Year. Nine Tritons picked up all-West accolades and starting pitcher Tim Shibuya and utility player Blake Tagmyer earned all-American honors.
After going 41-15 and advancing to the DII College World Series for the first time in 2009, UCSD was even better in 2010. The Tritons recorded a remarkable overall record of 54-8 -- the best mark in program history -- and went on to capture conference regular season, CCAA Tournament and West Regional titles for the second year in a row. The top-ranked Tritons returned to Cary, N.C., where they defeated No. 4 Georgia College & State, No. 3 Central Missouri and No. 13 Franklin Pierce to reach the national championship game unscathed. Despite the perfect week, UCSD would come up short in the final game, losing a 6-4 heartbreaker to ninth-ranked Southern Indiana.
The Tritons wrapped up postseason play with a 9-2 record en route to the national runner-up finish. O'Brien was named the 2010 NCBWA National Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, while also taking home ABCA/Rawlings West Region and CCAA Coach of the Year accolades in consecutive seasons, as well.
The Tritons set a total of 19 program records in 2010. O'Brien reached a major milestone of his own during the season, recording career win No. 400 on Apr. 30 following a 19-3 rout at San Francisco State.
O'Brien's squads posted the top fielding percentage in the nation in 2008, ‘09 and ‘10 (including a school record .984 in 2010) and he coached two-time National Defensive Player Year Vance Albitz in 2009 and ‘10. In addition, the 2010 squad had six ABCA All-Americans and two National Gold Glove winners.
O'Brien was named head coach of the Tritons following the 1998 season, when he served as the interim head coach. He led UCSD to a 20-18 record in his first season, as that team broke a total of five school records. In 1999, UCSD again posted a winning record, going 19-18 overall, followed by an impressive 22-13 campaign in 2000, the team's final year of Division III competition.
After going 14-34 in the program's first season at the Division II level, UCSD surprised everyone the following year, posting an overall record of 30-23-1 and a 23-17 mark in the competitive CCAA. The Tritons reached the 30-win plateau for the first time since 1994 and had the second-largest turnaround in the country that season. O'Brien earned UCSD's Excellence in Coaching Award for the first time in his career, an award he has won each of the last three years, as well.
In 2004, O'Brien led the Tritons to a 35-24 overall record and a 22-18 mark in conference play. Ranked as high as No. 10 in the nation, UCSD qualified for its first CCAA Tournament, defeating Sonoma State 6-2. In 2005, he directed the squad to 37 victories and a second consecutive conference postseason appearance. The Tritons won 10 of their final 11 games, including a 7-6 victory over Chico State to sew up the program's first CCAA Championship. After another banner year in 2006, UCSD went 37-25 in 2007 and advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional for the first time.
UCSD went 43-18 overall in 2008, setting a school record for victories. The Tritons went 25-11 in league play, advancing to the CCAA Tournament once again, and qualified for a second straight NCAA West Regional. UCSD won two regional games, before being eliminated by Chico State.
The Tritons defeated Sonoma State 12-4 in the West Regional Championship game to earn a berth in the Division II College World Series for the first time in program history. UCSD, which also garnered a No. 1 national ranking for the first time at the Division II level that season, recorded victories over West Chester and Dowling in Cary, before losing to Emporia State in the national semifinals.
After graduating from UCSD with a degree in communications in 1995, O'Brien served as an assistant for former head coach Lyle Yates before joining him in Greenville, Miss., as a player/coach with the Greenville Bluesman. O'Brien helped guide the minor league club to the 1996 Big South League Championship, before returning to UCSD for the 1997 season as an assistant under Robert Fletcher.
O'Brien played two seasons for UCSD in 1994-95, leading the Tritons to a 33-8 record and a third place finish at the Division III College World Series in his first year with the team. He led the team in home runs, was a two-time team captain, and won the John Rolph Memorial Award. O'Brien can be found among the school's top-10 for career and single season putout totals.