College World Series: Virginia coach Brian O’Connor talks being honored in Road to Omaha statue

Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 8:58 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Before Virginia’s practice for the College World Series on Friday, Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor was able to get a picture with his parents in front of the Road to Omaha statue outside of TD Ameritrade Park.

O’Connor is one of the four players the statue depicts: He’s the one on the far right.

It comes from when he was a pitcher for the Creighton Bluejays in 1991. The team made its first College World Series that year.

“It’s a privilege, you know, that you’re somehow attached to this event,” O’Connor said. “It’s neat. It was at the old ballpark at Rosenblatt that I grew up in, right? Then it was obviously moved over here to TD Ameritrade. There’s a long backstory that’s been all documented about how this came about.”

O’Connor is a Council Bluffs native. He comes home often, but his Virginia Cavaliers haven’t been to the Omaha-metro for the CWS since 2015 when they were national champions.

“It’s a privilege to come back to Omaha. I come back quite often because my parents live here,” O’Connor said.

Virginia’s first game is Sunday afternoon against Tennesee.

O’Connor is focused on the game and making sure his guys are ready to go.

“It’s about these young men. It’s their experience. I’ve had this experience. Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited to be here and looking forward to competing, but it’s about them and their opportunity here in Omaha,” O’Connor said.

The Cavaliers and Volunteers play a 1 p.m. on Sunday. It will be televised on ESPN2.

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