Tim O’Brien died Thursday, October 08, 2020 at UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with cancer. Coach O’Brien was 66.
Tim O’Brien has been at Northwood since the school opened in 1999. Tim has served two stints as the head coach of the Twolves during this time, totaling 14 years and 275 wins. 6 league titles and 13 trips to the CIF playoffs. Tim has been a head coach in Orange County at the high school or junior college level since 1984. Before that he made stops along the way at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona, and Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Moving to California in 1984, Tim coached at Santiago, Tustin and Estancia high school, and Orange Coast College. Over the years, his teams have won 2 CIF titles and a California State Championship. Tim was selected to the SCIBCA Hall of Fame in 2018. Tim earned his Masters Degree from Arizona State University in 1977 where he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Sun Devil program under then head coach Ned Wulk.
O’Brien was Northwood’s first basketball coach in the 1999-2000 season when he took over the program’s junior varsity team. He was one of the school’s original faculty members in 1998. O’Brien retired from teaching health in 2018. He was planning to coach the Timberwolves again next season if he was healthy enough.
O’Brien coached the first varsity team at Northwood in 2000-2001. The Timberwolves, led by Drew Terry, finished 21-8 and advanced into the semifinals of the CIF IVAA division playoffs, losing to St. Paul.
He stepped down in 2007 and took a five-year break from coaching but in 2012 returned to coach Northwood.
O’Brien returned to coaching last season after taking the 2018 season off to battle Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a form of cancer. O’Brien said he had a bone marrow transplant on July 13, 2018.
He is survived by his wife and his family members
“He was like a brother to me and I am struggling with the fact that he is gone as are many,” said long-time friend and Northwood High colleague Susan Weatherholt, ASB accountant and the first athletic secretary at Northwood. “The most gracious, caring, man ever. He is a happy man now.”
Cause of Death
Tim O’Brien died Thursday night at UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with cancer.
Funeral Service & GoFundme
Funeral services will be made known as soon as it is being updated. Memorial donations may be made in David Gale’s name through the GoFundme page.