CWS 2023: UVA’s Brian O’Connor’s first CWS trip since father’s passing

Published: Jun. 17, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Eight months after losing his father, John O’Connor, Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor is making his seventh appearance as a coach a the College World Series, but his first without his dad.

“It certainly is tough for me. My father was my mentor in my life. I learned everything I do-- on how to treat people and how to run a first-class program-- I learned those things from my father,” said O’Connor Thursday as the Cavaliers practiced at Charles Schwab Field. “All of the times I’ve either played in this event or coached in this event, this certainly will be a tough one for me personally because it will be the first time that I won’t be able to step out of that dugout and look up in those stands and see him.”

Growing up in Council Bluffs, O’Connor spent many Junes at Rosenblatt Stadium with his dad as a fan. In 1991, O’Connor made his first and only trip to the College World Series as a player, helping his hometown team, Creighton, to its first-ever CWS appearance. In 2015, as a head coach, O’Connor led Virginia to its first CWS title with his father right by his side. O’Connor is looking to bring a second title back to Charlottesville, this time without his dad in the stands.

“My mom will be here, my brother will be here to support my family and you know I will be saying a little prayer for him and I know he’s looking down on us with pride,” said O’Connor.

Virginia plays TCU Sunday at 1 p.m. in the first elimination in Omaha.