Assistant Coach Kevin O'Brien Leaving Men's Soccer
Jan. 9, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. - -
Oregon State assistant men's soccer coach Kevin O'Brien will be leaving the program to play soccer professionally for the Charlotte Eagles, an A-league team that is owned by the organization Missionary Athletes International. O'Brien will remain at Oregon State through February.
O'Brien spent two years at Oregon State, helping guide the program to an improved 7-11-1 record, including wins over nationally-ranked Portland and UCLA last season. Eight squad members earned All-Pac-10 recognition under head coach Dana Taylor and O'Brien's tutelage in 2000.
'The opportunity here at Oregon State was amazing,' O'Brien said of his two years at OSU. 'My time here with Dana, the athletic department, and the players is a time I associate with a tremendous period of development in my life in terms of character and growth. It was amazing - I learned more about the game of soccer here as an assistant than I ever thought I would,' O'Brien said.
'The thing I'll miss most is the guys,' O'Brien continued. 'I had to tell them yesterday in a team meeting, which was very difficult.'
Taylor and O'Brien had coached together four years, including two at Creighton prior to coming to Oregon State.
'Kevin has not only been a great asset to the program, but is a close friend,' Taylor said. 'He will be missed deeply by the players and our staff. We wish him the best in his future endeavors and look forward to following his successes.'
O'Brien will begin his career with the Eagles in March, when the team leaves for a tour of Africa. The squad will play six games on the trip from Mar. 19-Apr. 8, beginning with a week in Rwanda during which they will face three top professional teams. The second leg of the trip will take them to Ethiopia, where they will play three more professional teams in addition to visiting and assisting in local churches, hospitals, and orphanages.
'To go there and serve in any capacity will be exciting in terms of trying to help these impoverished nations,' O'Brien said.
Charlotte is a feeder team to Major League Soccer's D.C. United franchise, and plays an eight-month schedule in a 40-team league.
'I was given an opportunity to play, which is kind of what I've longed to do since I quit two years ago,' said O'Brien, who also cited that he wanted to be closer to his family, which lives in Atlanta, Ga. 'So you go play some soccer, but on top of that, you are used as a resource to help others.'