Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Coach Of The Year: Tim O'Brien

This first thing that should be said before we get to our award is that there are a lot of great coaches in this country. Not just at the elite level but at every level of the game. Most coaches are unpaid and put in long hours with only the reward of knowing they are teaching the game they love. Coaches are at the heart of the game and we need to appreciate that. All of that said, there can only be one winner of our Coach of the Year award and this year that award goes to Tim O'Brien of St. Mary's.

We've already awarded St. Mary's as our College Team of the Year and much of the credit for their success needs to go to O'Brien. It begins with recruiting. In a very tough Northern California market O'Brien was been able to assemble the likes of Garrett Brewer, Joe Reavey, Bubba Jones, and more. He also went outside California and brought in Kingsley McGowan. All rugby coaches have limited resources so it speaks to what O'Brien has been able to build at St. Mary's that his recruiting class is so strong.

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In addition to recruiting one of the key areas in which O'Brien deserves credit is his relationship with the alumni and the school. St. Mary's has strong institutional support from the school because they have proven themselves to be winners and have proven themselves to be good citizens. That can't be under-stressed. It also helps make the alumni feel proud of their program. Getting players to be good men and women is really the bottom line of every coaching job.

Then there is St. Mary's success on the field. The Gaels tore through the competition this year and then set records on their way to the DI-A final where they beat a very good Life team. St. Mary's also notched wins over BYU and Cal. All in all a great year. 

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