Fallbrook resident and college coaching icon Jim O’Brien has been named to the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in Omaha, Nebraska. O’Brien will be inducted during a special ceremony there in January.
In learning of his selection to the prestigious position, O’Brien said, “This is a singular honor, and it is very humbling for an old guy like me to receive this kind of recognition. I wish that there were a way for me to recognize all those who have helped me along the way.”
O’Brien’s successful past includes receiving the national community college coach of the year three times.
He served as head baseball coach at Los Angeles Harbor College from 1976 to 1990, during which the Seahawks racked up an incredible 460-171-2 record. The team won 11 conference championships and three California state titles.
“I have lots of great memories of battles fought and relationships built,” said O’Brien.
Numerous records were set by O’Brien’s teams – one of which was winning 51 games in a season, which still stands as a record.
O’Brien played college ball at Brigham Young University before beginning a teaching and coaching career at North Torrance High. In his 12 years at North Torrance, his Saxon baseball team won eight Bay League championships, two CIF 4-A titles, and one CIF runner-up spot with an overall record of 234-88-4.
In high school baseball, he was named the California High School Baseball Coach of the Year in 1973.
While O’Brien’s coaching prowess is legendary, he garnered significant respect as an educator due to his emphasis on academics and life preparation skills with students.
Letters of recommendation for O’Brien’s Hall of Fame nomination application were submitted by Mike Gillespie (UC Irvine), Andy Lopez (Arizona), George Horton (Oregon), and Glenn Tuckett (BYU).
O’Brien and his wife, Anna, have five children, a foster daughter, and 20 grandchildren. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, attends the Fallbrook II Ward, and volunteers his time serving the San Diego Temple.