Tim O’Brien returns for his tenth season and will be working with the catchers in addition to outfield and team defense for a fifth year after spending three years working with the pitching staff, and one season with the infielders.
This past spring, the Retrievers finished 28 - 23, following up a breakout year in 2015 when the club went 34 - 20. UMBC finished 16 - 5 at home. The club continued its trend of improving team defense, committing only 67 errors for the year and fielding .964.
“Coach O’B’s” UMBC outfielders registered 9 assists and committed only 7 errors in 346 chances fielding at a .979 clip. The 2017 returners include Andrew Casali, Chris Convers, Raven Beeman and Noah Beasley. This group welcomes newcomers Zach DeThomasis, Owen Schnieder and Colin Stack. Casali also earned All-Academic status in the America East Awards Program. After a ferocious competition, Hunter Dolshun returned to catching, unable to break into the outfield corps. The “Catching Crew” includes Dolshun (First Team All-Conference), Zach Bright and first year players Jack Finn and Matt Shatto. Dolshun, after a brief stint in the outfield, during which he won several sprint competitions, has returned to catching in hopes of garnering some draft notice.
While pitching coach, the Retrievers pitchers decreased their team ERA over two runs per game. Austin Drewyer ranked second in NCAA Division I in fewest walks per nine innings while the entire staff ranked 49th. Drewyer and Mike Mitchell ranked among the country's leaders in complete games, ranking ninth and 42nd, respectively. O'Brien's work with the staff included a more rigorous fitness program and the benefits paid dividends as not a single pitcher missed time due to injury in 2011.
During his time at UMBC, O’Brien coordinated the team’s support of the Baltimore Oriole Advocates’ Cardboard 2 Leather donation program and is directing the return of the team’s First Pitch Banquet. He’ll help create memories in this year’s Senior Day activities. Among his favorite responsibilities with the Retrievers is his work with the team’s Leadership Council. This group of players is largely responsible for the construction and maintenance of the team’s culture.
The Niagara University alum spent time as an associate scout for the Florida Marlins and Baltimore Orioles from 1993 to 2005. O’Brien won numerous awards as head baseball coach at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Md., from 1997-2008, including Coach of the Year from The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post and Regional Coach of the Year from the American Baseball Coaches’ Association, the culmination of 28 years of coaching high school sports. While at Long Reach, he served as president of the Maryland State Baseball Coaches’ Association. He previously served as Athletic Director at The Cardinal Gibbons School in Baltimore.
Last October, he made a second presentation to the National High School Baseball Coaches Association, this time in St. Louis, Missouri. His talk on Catching Skills, earned him an invitation to present at the Minnesota State Baseball Coaches Clinic this October, where he gave three presentations on Preparing Catchers.
O’Brien spent the 2010 summer as pitching coach for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team and was previously the pitching coach for the Men’s Champion’s Program that earned gold medals for USA Baseball in the Pan-American Games in 2007 in Guatemala and in Puerto Rico in 2008. He served as the Site Supervisor for USA Baseball’s Junior National Tournaments for 9 years in Jupiter, Florida at the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Complexes and as a Trials Coach for the Gold Medal Youth National Team in 2006 that included current Baltimore Oriole pitcher Mychal Givens, then a shortstop!
O’Brien is currently a teacher at Long Reach, and lives with his wife, Mary Beth, in Columbia, Md. Both of their sons, Robbie, who is a civil engineer in Baltimore, and Kevin, who is an accounting auditor in Virginia, played collegiate baseball.