|Organization:||Los Angeles Harbor College (CA)|
Jim O'Brien's coaching career began at North Torrance HS in Southern California in 1964. In 12 years at North he led the baseball squad to eight Bay League championships, two 4A CIF championships and one Runner-up CIF spot. He also coached ten championship football teams. His Saxon baseball teams forged a 234- 88-4 mark.
In 1974, O'Brien received the California Coaches Association Award for Outstanding Coaching Achievement.
Seeking a new challenge, O'Brien took over the baseball program at Los Angeles Harbor College in 1976. During his time at LAHC, his teams won three state championships, making it to the state title game more than any other two-year college team in California, and won 11 conference championships in 15 years.
During his tenure as head coach, O'Brien's program recorded an amazing mark of 460-171-2, a .727 winning percentage. His teams advanced to the state championship game six times in addition to two third-place finishes.
For his accomplishments, O'Brien was named state and national Community College Baseball Coach of the Year three times, was conference Coach of the Year numerous times at the high school and college levels, and was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was later inducted into the Los Angeles Harbor College Athletic Hall of Fame and the prestigious San Pedro Walk to the Water.
Virtually all of the members of his teams graduated and moved on to attend four-year institutions, and have become successes in their life pursuits. They excelled in baseball, both at the four year level and as professional players, and a number of them have established themselves as top coaches at various levels.
As a dedicated member of the Harbor College faculty who emphasized academics and life preparation as much as athletic skills, O'Brien was honored in 1985 with the college's prestigious Eugene Pimentel Award for Teaching Excellence by his fellow faculty members. A math teacher in addition to being a physical education instructor, he actively served on the college academic senate and college foundation, and instituted the successful CHAMP program to assist athletes with their academic pursuits.