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Larrinaga brings proven track record to OU baseball

The Herald Staff

Ottawa University baseball coach Gabe Grinder wanted to hire an assistant with character and an understanding of how to develop players.

He found that in Josh Larrinaga, who was recently hired as the program’s full-time assistant coach.

“This was a long and meticulous interview process,” Grinder said. “We wanted to make sure we found the right person and not just anyone. Josh is a great hire for us, as he brings both experience and a winning background. He is a high-character individual who is very hardworking. His ability to cultivate relationships will help in developing our current players and in our recruiting efforts. Josh’s ability to teach hitters will help push our offense to be one of the best and build upon our 2020 offensive campaign. I look forward to having Josh and his family arrive in Ottawa.”

Before coming to Ottawa, Larrinaga was the head assistant coach at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He was the catching and hitting coach for the Mountain Lions. Larrinaga also served as the recruiting coordinator.

In his three years at UCCS, the team had a .513 winning percentage, had three top-five conference finishes, qualified for three RMAC Tournaments, was ranked in the region in 2019, and had the highest stolen base percentage in 2019 (85 percent). Larrinaga coached Zach Hall, a 2018 MLB 19th round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies. He has coached two NCAA II All-Americans, two Academic All-Americans, and two Freshman Player of the Year award winners.

Prior to his time at UCCS, Larrinaga was an assistant coach, hitting and outfield coach at Palomar Community College. He helped PC to three Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championships, four CCCAA Regional appearances, two Super Regional appearances, and to the 2015 California Final Four. The Palomar College offense finished in the top 10 in the state of California in batting average and runs scored. Larrinaga helped develop a gold glove outfielder and the first junior college player drafted in the 2015 MLB draft.

Larrinaga coached at the high school level and was involved with various club/travel teams in Southern California. Those teams include BPA, West Coast Clippers, San Diego Longhorns, San Diego Show, and SKLZ. Larrinaga has also given private lessons as owner and operator of Black Ops Human Performance. He has worked with current and former professional MLB athletes in both skill instructions and strength and conditioning.

“My family and I are excited about joining the Ottawa University community,” Larrinaga said. “Over the past couple of years under the leadership of Director of Athletics Conner and coach Grinder, the baseball program has flourished making this a very exciting opportunity for me. The facilities are top notch, coupled with the support of the administration and a strong commitment to student athlete development. We have everything we need to compete at a championship level year in and year out. I am looking forward to working with coach Grinder and the coaching staff to bring the vision he has for Ottawa University baseball full circle.”

Ottawa’s home opener is Feb. 19, 2021, with a doubleheader against Ecclesia College.