Atlanta GA; Chris joined Georgia Tech in the fall of 2012 as an accomplished student athlete from Mira Costa High School in the Los Angeles area. "I had a number of options in high school, Georgia Tech Lacrosse was one of the biggest reasons I came to Tech. It afforded me the opportunity to play the sport I loved at a high level while also getting the quality engineering degree, a combination that many other schools couldn't provide", said Chris looking back.
"As a player we knew Chris would make an important contribution at attack with his vision and quick hands, but we underestimated the incredible drive and competitive spirit Chris demonstrated right from the start", observed Head Coach Ken Lovic, "He was a highly motivated and positive force that helped to contribute to our team's emergence on the Lacrosse Field, just a pleasure to coach!" Chris became an immediate starter for the 2013 season, started all four years, scored scoring 196 career points and providing strong leadership throughout.
In 2016 Georgia Tech made its charge to the semifinals of the MCLA National Championships and finished 16-1 thanks to the attack play of O'Brien. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native finished second on the Jackets in scoring with 69 points (42g, 27a). O'Brien also graduated with a 3.85 grade point average in Mechanical Engineering, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, including three Faculty Honors, which are designated for students with a perfect 4.0 in a semester.
"Chris was the ideal student-athlete," said Lovic, "He excelled both in the classroom and on the field. Chris was a starter for the Jackets the moment he arrived on campus as a freshman. A three-time all-conference player, Chris was also instrumental in leading Georgia Tech through numerous community outreach programs helping grow the sport in the state." Chris won the prestigious US Lacrosse Godekeraw MCLA 2016 Player of the Year Award as a final recognition of his leadership, in class room and on field achievements.
"The craziest thing about the team was how much it improved from when I first arrived as a freshman to what it was when I left as a senior. When I first came in, our offense was challenged, and we had to rely on our defense to win every game. Every year after that, we got incrementally better on offense which made everything way more fun, especially practice" Said Chris. "Getting worked over by the best defense in the country every day at practice got pretty old, so it was a good feeling to be able to hold our own in my last 2 seasons and get to the Final Four!"
Chris currently resides back in California and works in Reliability Engineering for F-35 and Directed Energy programs at Northrup Grumman Aerospace Systems. Chris was in the Co-op program at Georgia Tech working as a Propulsion Engineer for Delta TechOps and was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Georgia Tech Benjamin T. Zimmerman Combustion Lab. "I work both in the design and conceptualization phase as well as post-delivery sustainment. My job responsibilities include assisting design and systems engineering teams in creation of concept of operations for parts, systems, and support plans, predicting system life and failure modes, working with design and supplier teams to determine root cause and corrective action for failed parts, and authoring of technical data package for military personnel in the field.
My experience at Georgia Tech prepared me well" said Chris. "Even though I'm done playing and live across the country, I've kept up with the team by watching the live streams and even traveling to some games. After giving 4 years of my life to the team, it's been next to impossible to quit cold turkey, so you can say I've been following the 2017 and 2018 Jackets closely", added Chris.