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Notre Dame Baseball

Notre Dame Was Always Home for 2026 RHP Callaghan O’Connor

February 9, 2023

Notre Dame baseball coach Shawn Stiffler and his staff have been busy over the last seven months as they put their stamp on the Fighting Irish program following a run to Omaha last June. 

The Irish have yet to play a game under Stiffler’s leadership, but the work has started on the recruiting trail and Notre Dame landed a big-time commitment from 2026 Bishop McNamara (Ill.) RHP Callaghan O’Connor last month. 

It was a moment that O’Connor won’t soon forget as his entire family, including his sister in Washington D.C., were present on Zoom when he gave his pledge to the Notre Dame coaching staff. 

"They were all pretty excited,” O’Connor told ISD. “I could only see Coach Stiffler because they were all on one computer and huddled around. He immediately wheeled back in his roller chair and put his fist up. He was really excited." 

The Irish quietly had a leg up on the competition as O’Connor’s father and sister attended Notre Dame, but the 6-foot-5, 190-pounder wanted to be sure and entered his recruiting process without bias. 

"I tried to go into recruiting with an open mind to give everyone a fair chance,” explained O’Connor. “At the end of the day, I really love Notre Dame's tradition, culture and everything it stands for, especially being a Catholic. I've been going there since I was six weeks old. It just feels like home." 

O’Connor might not recall the first time he was on campus, but he does remember touring the campus with his sister when she was a student. Those tours proved to pay off years later as O’Connor developed comfort and familiarity which allowed Notre Dame to stay on top. 

"It was a lot of thinking and I realized this is where I saw myself five years ago,” stated O’Connor. “I just felt it was exactly where I wanted to go.” 

Notre Dame pitching coach Seth Voltz also played a significant role in landing the Bishop McNamara standout. 

Several Notre Dame recruits have raved about Voltz’s competitive offseason process and how he takes time to explain why and how he uses technology to improve strengths and weaknesses. 

It was much of the same for O’Connor as his relationship with Voltz was the icing on the cake.

"I liked his competitiveness,” O’Connor explained. “He's very helpful and approachable. He wants to get everyone better regardless of who you are and makes everyone around him better.

"The coaches were telling me how player development goes and I trust them. I think they will get me to where I need to go at the next level.”

Notre Dame’s commits in the 2024, 2025 and 2026 recruiting classes made sure to make their presence felt when O’Connor announced his commitment on Twitter as several tweets went out congratulating him on the decision, including 2026 RHP Rhys Wolf. 

"I have talked to Rhys a little bit,” said O’Connor. The other kids are really excited. Some of them have said congrats and I talked to Joe Glander a little bit." 

The Irish will open the 2023 season next Friday in Nashville against Lipscomb at 3:00 PM. 

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Notre Dame Was Always Home for 2026 RHP Callaghan O’Connor

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