Dash O’Neill enters his fifth season as the Head Coach of the Georgia Highlands College baseball team.
Though shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season saw the Chargers reaching new heights as they surged to a 21-4 record highlighted by a 3 game sweep of #3 Sinclair Community College. Freshmen Joe Sutton and Johnny Dow were both named All-Americans while the team finished the year with a 3.21 GPA. The Chargers led the NJCAA in shutouts (8), stolen bases (120), fewest walks allowed per 9 innings (2.25), and stolen bases allowed (4). They finished 2nd in the NJCAA in wins (21) and fielding percentage (.975) and posted the 3rd lowest ERA (2.40) in the nation. Despite the shortened season, the Chargers saw 13 players move on to 4-year schools and once again achieved a 100% success rate in player advancement.
In 2018 and 2019, the Chargers continued to see success on the field and in the classroom, reaching as high as #13 in the NJCAA poll, being named an NJCAA Academic Team of the Year, and placing 25 players at 4-year institutions. Pitcher Noah Bryant was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and first baseman Bryson Horne was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Braves, placing two more Chargers in the professional ranks. During this period, the Chargers pulled in 16 postseason awards, including 6 All-Conference selections, 2 GHC Scholar-Athlete Awards, and the Program’s first NJCAA All-American and GCAA Player of the Year, Skylar McPhee.
O’Neill’s 2017 debut season saw the Chargers achieve unprecedented success both on the field and in the classroom. In his first year as the Chargers skipper, O’Neill led GHC to its first-ever NJCAA Region XVII Championship after a 40 win regular season and an inspired run through the GCAA/Region Tournament. The Chargers finished 12th in the final NJCAA poll – the first time in program history the Chargers were featured in rankings. O’Neill’s inaugural team rewrote the GHC record book, establishing 28 new team and 19 individual records. The Chargers saw an unprecedented 18 players advance their careers to four-year institutions after posting a program high team GPA of 3.1. If that were not enough, Charger players received 10 postseason awards, including 3 All-GCAA selections, 2 GCAA Gold Gloves, 4 Region All-Tournament selections, and 2 Rawlings NJCAA DI National Gold Gloves.
Prior to taking the helm at GHC, O’Neill spent 12 years at NJCAA powerhouse Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, AL. At Chattahoochee Valley, O’Neill helped guide the Pirates to 493 wins, three consecutive appearances in the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series, and the #1 ranking in the NJCAA in 2013, 2014, and 2016. In addition, Coach O’Neill’s offense rewrote the record books at Chattahoochee Valley, establishing new marks in literally every single offensive category.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, O’Neill grew up in nearby Woodstock, Georgia, and attended Sequoyah High School where he played the middle infield for coach Dave Audia. O’Neill was also a member of the Chiefs’ 1996 Georgia High School State Championship wrestling team led by legendary coaches Bob Eddy and Kevin Higgins. After high school, O’Neill continued his baseball career as a catcher and pitcher and Andrew College for two years before transferring to Columbus State University to complete his eligibility. During his time at CSU, the Cougars enjoyed incredible success, making two trips to the NCAA DII College World Series, winning the National Championship in 2002.
When O’Neill’s playing career came to an end, Chattahoochee Valley Community College head coach Adam Thomas offered him a job as a volunteer assistant coach for the Pirates. O’Neill would work primarily with catchers during the 2004-2005 season at Chatt Valley, but after just one year he was promoted to lead assistant. In 2006-2007 O’Neill was named hitting instructor and infield coach for the Pirates, kicking off a decade of offensive dominance for Chatt Valley in the ACCC.
In his first year directing the offense, the Pirates established new program records for runs scored, hits, runs batted in, total bases, walks, and triples. In the years to follow, O’Neill’s offense would rewrite the Chatt Valley record book several times over again. All told, O’Neill’s offense owns program records in at-bats (1939 in ’16), hits (680 in ’15), doubles (146 in ’15), triples (24 in ’07), home runs (69 in ’16), RBIs (485 in ’16), batting average (.364 in ’15), on-base percentage (.456 in ’10), slugging percentage (.531 in ’10), total bases (983 in ’16), walks (314 in ’11), and hit by pitches (113 in ’16).
In addition, coach O’Neill helped lead the Pirates to 12 consecutive Region 22 tournaments and produce 66 All-Conference players, 39 All-Region performers, 7 All-Americans, and 2 ACCC Player of the Year winners. During his tenure, the Pirates averaged over 41 wins per season, claimed the top spot in the NJCAA rankings on four occasions, and set program records for wins in 2007 (41), 2010 (42), 2014 (48), and 2016 (52).
O’Neill is a graduate of Troy University with a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Sport Management. He is also completing the requirements for a B.S. in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University. O’Neill is married to the former Jenny McCrimmon of Columbus, GA, and the couple has three sons Jackson (12), Jimmy (5), and Declan (4).