Santa Clara, Calif. — Santa Clara baseball has hired former Bronco Justin Viele '13 as an assistant coach for the 2015-16 season, head coach Dan O'Brien announced Monday. Viele joins the Broncos after beginning the 2015 season as an assistant coach with Minor League's Baseball's Frederick Keys, a Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
"It's a great day to be a Bronco! What a huge get for the program. Justin is everything Bronco baseball represents and then some," O'Brien said. "On top of that, his baseball IQ is through the roof. He is truly special, and our ballplayers are incredibly lucky to be around a guy who, day in and day out, consistently does things the right way."
"I'm fired up to be coming back home to Santa Clara," Viele said. "This is an amazing group of players, and I can't wait to be part of this incredible staff. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Following a four-year career with the Broncos, Viele was drafted in the 37th round (No. 1,119 overall) by the Orioles in 2013. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native spent most of his 2013 season with the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Orioles, where he posted a .407 on-base percentage by drawing 31 walks in 49 games. In 2014, he drove in 23 runs and stole 11 bases in split time between the Class A-Short Season Aberdeen Ironbirds and Class A Delmarva Shorebirds.
Viele started 186 games as a Bronco; 161 of those were consecutive starts from the last series of his freshman season through the end of his senior campaign. As a senior in 2013, Viele led the Broncos with 32 runs scored, 28 walks and 14 extra-base hits alongside 17 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He tallied 161 career hits, scored 110 runs and drove in 51 runs while playing outstanding defense in Santa Clara's middle infield, primarily at shortstop. Viele graduated from Santa Clara in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology.
Viele played in Eau Claire in the summer of 2011 after his freshman season with the Broncos. He appeared in 42 games, hitting .274 with four doubles and 17 RBIs.
"I'm also fired up that Justin was born and raised in the Bronco family," O'Brien said. "When former players come back to coach, something truly special starts to happen. The future of Bronco baseball is very bright, and the addition of Justin Viele to an already outstanding coaching staff is a big reason for that."
WHAT THE STAFF IS SAYING
Gabe Ribas — Associate Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator: "Justin Viele is a guy whose authority as a coach comes from the path he carved in baseball through hard work and determination. To have a guy who knows the program inside and out coming back to us from the pro ranks is a huge gain for Bronco baseball. This is the start of a really bright college baseball coaching career for Justin. In my opinion, he will rise fast in this profession."
Keith Beauregard — Assistant Coach: "Justin is a stud. I've always thought he looked better in a Santa Clara uniform. His transition from pro ball to the college circuit will be seamless — he's a machine and this is what he was built to do. He will have an immediate impact on both the staff and players. We are fortunate to have him on board. He's going to be a superstar."
Jeff Mitchell — Senior Associate Athletic Director, entering his ninth season as Santa Clara baseball sport supervisor: "We're incredibly fortunate to have Justin returning home! He's a tried and true Bronco and has significant baseball insight to share with our current student-athletes. Justin has outstanding skills as a teacher, and he will be yet another quality coach on our tremendous staff. We're excited to have him back in a Santa Clara uniform, and we look forward to working alongside him as we continue to build the Bronco baseball program."