Written by, Ryan Klinker, St. John's University
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Saint John's University assistant basketball coach Connor O'Brien was named one of the 2016-17 Under Armour 30-under-30 honorees, announced by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), April 18.
The exclusive list recognizes the top 30 assistant coaches, across all levels of college basketball, who are under the age of 30. O'Brien was one of eight Division III coaches honored. Tim Bergstraser from Division II MSU-Moorhead was the only other coach from the state listed.
"Connor does a great job in all facets of our program," head coach Pat McKenzie '04 said. "It's great to see hard work being recognized. The program is happy to have him."
O'Brien completed his second season as an SJU assistant coach in 2016-17. He received his undergraduate (2014) and master's (2015) degrees from MSU-Mankato and served as an assistant coach for the Rochester Mayo High School boys' basketball team in 2014-15.
As a player, O'Brien was a member of three Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) championship teams and three NCAA Division II tournament teams for the Mavericks, including the 2011 Final Four. He led MSU to a school-record 30 wins as a senior and was a two-year team captain. A native of New Prague, Minn., O'Brien ended his career 22nd in school history with 1,216 points in 125 career games (114 starts).
SJU finished fourth in the MIAC with a 13-7 record in 2016-17 to earn its 24th trip to the conference playoffs and advanced to the MIAC Playoff Championship game for the 12th time in the program's history and first since 2006-07. The Johnnies recorded 19 wins (19-9 overall) for the second consecutive season and return 99 percent of the team's scoring (2202 of 2227) in 2017-18.