May 6, 2004
WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross' head baseball coach Fran O'Brien announced his retirement today at the College. O'Brien led the Crusader baseball team for the past three seasons after replacing Paul Pearl in 2002, recording a 38-73-1 record during that period.
O'Brien was an assistant coach at HC under Pearl from 1999-2002. He came to Holy Cross with a wealth of experience. O'Brien served as an assistant at Tufts for two seasons and was the head coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 29 seasons (1968-1996). While at MIT, he also served as the head basketball coach (1968-1985) and was an assistant athletic director for 12 years. In 1993, O'Brien was named the NCAA New England Division III Baseball Coach of the Year after guiding his squad to the ECAC Division III Championship. A 1955 graduate of Tufts, he was elected into the Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame, Randolph High School Hall of Fame and Stonehill College Hall of Fame.
"The opportunity to head the Holy Cross baseball program has been a rewarding experience for me," stated O'Brien. "It has been a privilege to work with the student-athletes at this great institution."
O'Brien's vacancy will be filled by Associate Head Coach Craig Najarian, who was announced as the 17th head coach in the 118 seasons of baseball at Holy Cross. Najarian just finished his third season at Holy Cross, but his first season as associate head coach. He was promoted to the position after two years as an assistant with Coach O'Brien.
"It is a tremendous honor to be named head baseball coach at Holy Cross," said Najarian. "I grew up on this campus when my father coached tennis here and I spent many weekends on Fitton Field watching baseball and football games as a kid. I certainly understand the magnitude of Holy Cross' rich and proud tradition and I will work tirelessly to uphold it."
He came to Holy Cross after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Boston College in 2001. Prior to that he spent two seasons at Wheaton College where he was part of two NEWMAC Conference championship teams (1999-2000), one of which earned an NCAA Regional berth in 2000. Najarian began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Brandeis University which boasted three NCAA Regional teams that captured three UAA Conference titles (1996-1998) during his tenure.
A four-year starter in the infield at Saint Anselm College, Najarian served as team captain in 1995. He graduated from Westboro High School in 1991 where he also captained his team to a Massachusetts State Title.