O'connor Named Head Baseball Coach At Virginia
July 8, 2003--
Brian O'Connor, the associate head baseball coach at the
University of Notre Dame for the last two years and a member of
the Irish coaching staff for the last nine years, is the new head
baseball coach at the University of Virginia. UVa Athletic Director
Craig Littlepage made the announcement today.
O'Connor will bring energy and enthusiasm to our baseball program,
and a great understanding of the landscape in college
baseball," Littlepage said. "He will hit the ground
running and make an immediate impact in all aspects of our program.
Dame is one of the country's most admired baseball programs.
The experience Coach O'Connor gained in helping build Notre Dame's
program will be instrumental in developing a plan to move the
of Virginia's baseballprogram forward."
was named the 2001 national assistant coach of the year as selected
the American Baseball Coaches Association and
Baseball America. He worked with Notre Dame's pitchers during
his time on
the Irish coaching staff and was the program's recruiting coordinator
from 1995-2002. As Notre Dame's recruiting coordinator, he
led the effort that landed a nine-member group ranked by Baseball
America as the nation's top incoming class for the 2002 season.
has tutored 17 eventual professional baseball pitchers, including
13 Major League Baseball draft selections. Two of
his Notre Dame pitchers were first round selections and both
- Brad Lidge (Houston Astros) and Aaron Heilman (New York
Mets) - are now in the major leagues.
"To be the head baseball coach at the University of Virginia is
a tremendous honor and opportunity," O'Connor said. "The
combination of one of the premier athletic departments in
the nation, school tradition and excellence in academics
was very attractive
to me. I'm extremely excited about the opportunity at Virginia
for my family and me.
direct attention Craig Littlepage gave to this search was very
impressive. His efforts in finding the right fit for
the University of Virginia showed me the commitment that exists
to the baseball
program. I took this job with the goal of Virginia becoming
a consistent winning program. Under Craig Littlepage's leadership, we will
work to make the experience for the student-athletes, fans,
and the Charlottesville community one of which we will
all be proud."
O'Connor's nine years at Notre Dame, the Irish compiled an overall
record of 399-160-1 (.713), won six conference
championships and made six trips to the NCAA Tournament.
The last three Notre
Dame baseball teams have been among the most successful
in the school's history. The Irish compiled an overall
in 2003, won the Big East Conference Championship and
advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In 2002, Notre Dame had an overall
record of 50-18, won the Big East Championship and
advanced to the College
World Series. The 2001 Irish team was 49-13-1, ranked
number one in the nation at midseason and participated in the
"I look back at my nine years at the University of Notre Dame with
very special memories," O'Connor said. "The
experience of working with great people and outstanding
allowed me to grow as a person and a coach at the highest
level of collegiate baseball. My tenure at Notre Dame
has prepared me
to succeed in the Atlantic Coast Conference as the
head coach at the University of Virginia. It's now
time for me to focus my enthusiasm
and energy on our program at Virginia.
very passionate about developing student-athletes while creating
an exciting, winning environment. I look forward
to meeting with the players and sharing with them my vision for the future
32-year-old O'Connor is a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and
graduate of Creighton
As a pitcher
on the Creighton
baseball team, he posted a 20-13 career record
with seven saves and a 3.78 earned run average.
of the Blue
Jays' 1991 College World Series team.
graduating from Creighton with a bachelor's degree in marketing,
was selected in
the 29th round
of the Major
draft by the Philadelphia
Phillies. He posted a 4-2 record with a 4.03 earned run average
for Martinsville (Va.) of the Appalachian Class
in 1993 before accepting a position
as pitching coach at Creighton.
is married to the former Cindy Petratis and they have two daughters,
Ellie and Maggie.
O'Connor replaces Dennis Womack
who retired as the head baseball
coach at Virginia in June after 23 years in the position.
Womack is now
an assistant athletic director in the UVa athletic department.
Rich Murray, (434) 982-5500