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Brian O'Connor (college coach)

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Brian P. O'Connor

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Biographical Information[edit]

Brian O'Connor led the University of Virginia to its first College World Series trip ever.

O'Connor was 20-13 with 7 saves and a 3.78 ERA in college. He went 5-3 with 6 saves and a 3.82 ERA in 1991, finishing second in ERA on a staff featuring Alan Benes and Mike Heathcott, two future big leaguers. The team made it to the 1991 College World Series. Brian was 6-5 with a save and a 3.98 ERA in 1993. The Philadelphia Phillies took him in the 29th round of the 1993 amateur draft. O'Connor spent one year as a pro, going 3-2 with a 4.28 ERA for the Martinsville Astros (the Virginia website credits him with a 4-2, 4.03 record); he had the second-best ERA of the club's starting pitchers.

O'Connor retired as a player and became Creighton's pitching coach. He wasn't there long before coming to the University of Notre Dame as assistant coach in 1995. From 1995-2001, he served in that role, then became associated head coach from 2001-2003. He was the pitching coach and chief recruiter. He was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2001 and by AFLAC in 2003. During that time, he helped form the team that went to the 2002 College World Series and helped develop Brad Lidge and Aaron Heilman most notably.

Brian became head coach at the University of Virginia in July 2003. His 2004 club went 44-15, setting a new team record for wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference (18). The team produced Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Koshansky. O'Connor became the second Virginia coach ever to be named ACC Coach of the Year.

In 2005, Virginia went 41-20 and led the ACC in ERA for the second year in a row.

In 2006, O'Connor's team set a new Virginia record with 47 wins (47-15) and went 21-9 in ACC play. They finished third in NCAA Division I with a 3.04 ERA. O'Connor reached 100 wins faster than any coach in school history and was named the College Baseball Foundation Coach of the Year.

O'Connor's squad was 45-15 in 2007 and the team produced five All-ACC players, the most in team history. Again, the team was third in the country in ERA at 2.81, led by Jacob Thompson. Virginia fell to 39-23 in 2009 and O'Connor became the fastest coach in school history to 200 wins, finishing the year at 216-89.

Sources: University of Virginia bio, 1994 Baseball Almanac