POSITIONS: Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
RECRUITING AREAS: New England, New York, Miami
Brendan O’Brien is in his 11th season as an assistant football coach at Washington and Lee. He currently serves as the team's assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
As defensive coordinator last season, he called the plays for a defense that led the ODAC in scoring defense (24.7 ppg) and was second in both rush defense (135.8 ypg) and total defense (369.8 ypg.).
In 2017, O'Brien's defense led the ODAC in both scoring defense (22.8 ppg) and total defense (373.0 ypg). W&L also led the league in interceptions (17) and sacks (26) en route to claiming the league title.
His 2015 defense helped the Generals attain the first undefeated regular season in 54 years, while his first season as defensive coordinator in 2012 resulted in an 8-3 overall record and an Old Dominion Athletic Conference title. He also helped W&L to a combined 16-5 record and one more conference title over the previous two seasons. In 2009, he helped guide the Generals’ kickoff return unit to a No. 3 ranking in Division III in kickoff return average, while also helping Jon Kavanagh lead the nation in kickoff return average.
O’Brien came to W&L from Bowdoin College, where he served as assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator during the 2008 season. O’Brien worked with the safeties, kickers and was the special teams coordinator, helping the Polar Bears to a 4-4 overall record. He was also an athletic department admissions liaison, working with all 31 Bowdoin sports in their recruiting efforts.
Prior to Bowdoin, O’Brien served as an assistant football coach at Amherst College from 2006-08, was an assistant football coach at Bentley College for the 2005 season and was an assistant football and assistant baseball coach at Norwich University from 2002-05. O’Brien has also worked numerous summer camps over the years, including camps at Harvard, Lafayette, Princeton, Yale and Boston College.
A 2002 graduate of Norwich University with a bachelor of science in physical education with a minor in coaching, O’Brien was a four-year letterwinner for both the football and baseball teams. On the gridiron, he was a three-year starter at linebacker and a two-time all-conference selection. On the baseball diamond, O’Brien was a four-year starter at catcher and served as a team captain during his senior season.
O’Brien is married to Brooke Diamond O'Brien, W&L’s head women’s lacrosse coach. The couple make their home in Lexington with their sons, Davis and Grant.