Bryan Rooney's tenure as the head men's basketball coach at Cal Maritime has undoubtedly been the most successful 10 years in the program's history. With this past year's 20 wins, he has led the Keelhaulers to 200 wins -- the most in school history -- including seven conference championships, five consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament, and two trips to the Sweet 16.
Athletic Director Marv Christopher was grateful for Bryan's work at Cal Maritime as both a coach and mentor, and wished him the best at Cal State East Bay.
"Cal Maritime has been very fortunate to have had great success with the men's basketball program over the last 10 years as a seven-time conference champion and five-time national tournament participant," Christopher said. "Coach Bryan Rooney has been able to recruit student-athletes that had a desire to become better players and stronger leaders.
"His leadership has allowed our teams to become all that they could be with his coaching and character building traits, and many alumni have become prosperous community members. He will be greatly missed by the Cal Maritime extended family as he moves on to his new Head Basketball Coaching position at CSU Eastbay. We congratulate Bryan and wish him well on this new opportunity to build a program at the NCAA Division II level."
It was a gut-wrenching decision for Bryan Rooney, but felt it was the right one for him and his family.
"It was very unexpected to be honest and happened very, very quickly," Bryan Rooney said. "In many ways it a very difficult decision. I'm very sad to leave, but very excited for the future."
Brendan is the younger brother of Bryan, and has been a part of Bryan's staff for the past three years. Brendan has been instrumental in the recruiting of players to Cal Maritime during his tenure with the Keelhaulers. He was the team captain of the St. Mary's of Stockton Basketball team in his senior year.
"I'm Very excited about the opportunity," Brendan said. "The big thing with this program is the quality of individual you get to be around each day, so to have the opportunity to be a part of that is quite an honor. I look forward to where we can take these guys as a whole and make this one memorable year."
Brendan studied sports medicine at the University of the Pacific, and became a Doctor of Sports Therapy in 2013. He has been the head of opponent scouting, the lead recruiter of high school players and the head of the strength and conditioning program in his time with the Keelhaulers.
"Brendan will bring a consistency to the team and have the ability to coach with many of the student-athletes he has helped recruit," Christopher said. "We are excited about this transition, and will continue to be a tough competitor in the Cal Pac Conference and an annual qualifier for the National Tournament."
"I think it's great for the players, no doubt. Brendan has been unbelievable, he has a great basketball mind, really good with Xs and Os, and very good in preparing scouting reports," Bryan said. "But why I wanted him involved in our program – and why I think he'll do great moving forward – is his genuine love and concern for the players, and that's something they'll feel every single day from Brendan and the other coaches as well, and I'm very happy for him."
The Keelhaulers finished 25-7 during the 2012-13 season, and dominated #4 ranked Northwestern College from Iowa in a twenty-two point victory to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history, all while earning the prestigious Dr. James Naismith Sportsmanship Award at the national tournament.
The 2013-2014 season set a school record for wins at 27-6. The Keelhaulers also garnered respect nationally as they were ranked in every Top 25 poll, ranking as high as #14 with a #17 ranking in the final NAIA National Poll.
The Keelhaulers advanced to the sweet 16 for the second time in the program's history in 2015-16 by defeating #2 ranked Union college and finished the season ranked 20th in the final national poll.
"My brother did a phenomenal job, and I won't try to fill those shoes," Brendan said. "But we will try to emulate the things he did, because he had a blue print that was very successful. He did a great job of creating this foundation, and it's one we hope to build from."
In his tenure at Cal Maritime Bryan has coached five All Americans, had his players earn All-Conference accolades 33 times, had two Freshman of the Year, and ten Academic All Americans. For his work Bryan Rooney has been named California Pacific Conference Coach of the Year six times and was the NAIA Coaches of Character Award winner for the Cal Pac Conference in 2017.
"The biggest thing I'll remember is our players, how much they've given to me, certainly on the floor in the gym, but more importantly they're so giving of themselves," Bryan commented. "I can't adequately express how much admiration and appreciation I have for our players and all they've given to me."
Prior to coming to Maritime, Bryan spent the 2006-2007 season as an assistant at Claremont McKenna College. Before his time at Claremont McKenna, Coach Rooney had three successful seasons at NCAA Division II San Francisco State (one year) and NAIA school Dominican University (two years) as an assistant under the tutelage of Bill Treseler.
A native of Stockton, California, Bryan Rooney played a year of college football at Saint Mary's College, two years of basketball at San Joaquin Delta College and finished his collegiate basketball career at Dominican University.
Rooney was named Dominican University's Student-Athlete of the Year in 2002-03, and earned his Master's degree in Education from Dominican University in 2005. Bryan and his wife, Jennifer, live in Clayton with their daughter Brooke and son Liam.
The Cal Maritime Men's Basketball season begins October, 27 at the Physical Education and Aquatics Center in Vallejo at 7:30 p.m.