|Organization:||Catholic Central High School (WI)|
The only high school coach ever elected President of the ABCA, Tom O'Connell has spent over 45 years coaching baseball. From 1974-2000, he coached at Pulaski High School in Milwaukee where his teams won more games than any other sport in the school's history. In 2001, he became the head coach at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, Wisconsin, where he led the Hilltoppers to consecutive Wisconsin State Championships in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011. Combined, his teams won over 500 games.
Long involved in the ABCA, O'Connell was Chairman of the High School Division from 1984-1996 where he intitiated many of the policies still in use. He is also a Past President of the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association, where for 20 years he organized that state's successful Clinic and Convention. In 1987 he was inducted into the WBCA Hall of Fame, and, in 1991, was named their Man of the Year.
O'Connell remains a member of the ABCA's Board of Directors, Professional-Amateur Relations Committee, Hall of Fame Committee and is Chair of the Ethics in Coaching Committee.
Four times named ABCA/Diamond Regional Coach of the Year (1983, 2004, 2005, 2010), O'Connell was selected as ABCA/Diamond National High School Coach of the Year in 2004. In 1995, he coached the North Team in the last United States Olympic Festival ever held, a squad which featured Major Leaguers Mark Mulder, Jody Gerut and Robb Quinlan.
In 1993, O'Connell was selected as the first high school coach to participate in the Major League Baseball Envoy program - a program which paired American coaches with foreign club teams and schools - and served 10 years living with families and coaching club teams and introducing baseball in schools throughout Germany. He has led teams of professional and college coaches to all corners of Europe conducting clinics for International Sports Group.
O'Connell has been a part time scout for the Reds, Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies and an active member of the Society of American Baseball Research, serving as secretary for the Wisconsin Badger State/Ken Keltner Chapter.