Baseball Long Beach State

Long Beach State Dirtbags Add New Assistant Coaches

The562’s coverage of Dirtbags Baseball for the 2023 season is sponsored by P2S, Inc. Visit to learn more.

Bryan Peters stepped up to take interim head coaching duties for the Long Beach State Dirtbags after the sudden departure of Eric Valenzuela, and he announced on Wednesday that he’s adding Jeff Opalewski and Bryan Prince as assistant coaches.

Prince will take over as hitting and catching coach while Opalewski will handle the Dirtbags’ pitching staff.

“Prince was an extremely easy decision for me to make and will be an incredible coach for our hitters and catchers,” said Peters in his official statement. “(And) Opalewski is exactly the right person we wanted for our pitchers.”

Peters had been the Associate Head Coach in charge of the offense under Valenzuela since 2019, as he was at Saint Mary’s prior to that. He and Prince have been friends for over 20 years.

“(Our relationship is) built on a mutual respect of coaching philosophies and decision-making,” Peters said. “His mindset on hitting and our approach is perfect for our group of players moving forward and we are lucky to have him on staff.”

Prince was most recently the West Coast Director at Elite Sports Advising where he helped student-athletes with the recruiting process. He is a Georgia Tech baseball Hall of Famer and coached there while serving as the recruiting coordinator. Prince brought in seven top ten recruiting classes and three top five recruiting classes. In his time on staff, Georgia Tech went to eight NCAA Regionals, a Super Regional, and the 2006 College World Series. Individually, he coached 15 MLB players and recruited/coached 13 first round MLB Draft selections.

Opalewski spent the last two seasons with the Miami University at Ohio pitcher. His staff broke the school’s single season record for strikeouts (594) last year which ranked fifth in all of NCAA. This year, he had one pitcher selected in the MLB Draft and two others signed undrafted free agent contracts as well as an eighth-round selection in the 2022 draft.

“We wanted a coach that has the knowledge of all the new age data, but also have the ‘old school’ style of feel that can teach beyond just numbers,” Peters said of hiring Opalewski. “He fits that philosophy and mindset perfectly and we are very excited for him to lead one of the best pitching staffs in the nation.”

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.