Mainieri reunites with old friends on Team USA

Posted at 11:02 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 00:02:07-04

Reunited and it feels so go.

You might hear Paul Mainieri whistling that tune this week as the Team USA Collegiate baseball team plays Chinese Taipei in a series in North Carolina. Mainieri is back working alongside an old friends UVa’s Brian O’Connor and Jim Hendry.

In 1995 Mainieri hired O’Connor as his pitching coach at Notre Dame on a suggestion from Jim Hendry, a longtime friend. Hendry, who now works in the Yankees front office, coached O’Connor at Creighton. Brian was just 23 years old and looking to make a splash as a baseball coach when he was hired. He’d eventually be promoted to Mainieri’s right-hand man before leaving to take over the Virginia Cavaliers where he won a National Championship in 2015.

Between the three coaches there are 11 College World Series appearances, 8 National Coach of the Year awards, two College World Series Championships and an unmeasurable amount of admiration.

"They’ve been the two most influential guys in my life besides my father," O’Connor told Damon Dillman of WCAV in Charlottesville, VA. "Not only guiding me as a coach professionally, the way I think and manage a team. But as a person they are great role models who I enjoy being around."

"We’re like brothers," added Mainieri. "I love him to death. I’d do anything for him and I have the greatest respect for him as a coach both as a pitching coach and head coach."

Team USA is 2-0 against Chinese Taipei.