When John Farrell was hired as an assistant coach in 1997, head coach Tom Holliday did so with the belief he would pass along his 13 years of experience and knowledge of the game to his pitchers. Farrell has not disappointed as he has cultivated a pitching staff that can compete year in and year out with the best in the nation. He has played an instrumental role in building the Cowboys' pitching staff into a reliable and deep core that is now considered one of the strengths of the program.
In addition Farrell is the Cowboys recruiting coordinator and was one of the main reasons Oklahoma State hauled in the 10th best recruiting class in college baseball in 2000 according to Collegiate Baseball.
In just four seasons as an assistant, Farrell has already coached one pitcher to the major leagues (1999 NL Rookie of the Year Scott Willamson) while seven others have been selected in the amateur baseball draft. His significant influence on the pitching staff is evident in the team's ERA which has dropped in each of his three seasons, from 6.33 in 1996, the season before he arrived, to 4.36 last season.
Farrell began his collegiate baseball career at Oklahoma State, where he lettered four years and helped OSU win four Big Eight and four regional titles en route to four College World Series appearances. In his career at OSU, he collected a career record of 20-6 with 168 strikeouts in 219 innings pitched, and an ERA of 4.51. In 1984, Farrell set an OSU record by throwing five shutouts, including a no-hitter versus Missouri-Southern. Farrell was drafted in 1984 by the Cleveland Indians in the second round of the amateur draft.
Farrell made his major-league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers Aug. 18, 1987, when he recorded his first professional win. His first major league start was four days later, Aug. 21, 1987, in which, he earned an 8-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers, hurling a six-hit complete game. Farrell was signed by the California Angels in February 1992, and after two and a half years, he re-signed with the Cleveland Indians in June 1994. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers in May 1996 and announced his retirement on July 10, 1996.
In his 13-year career, Coach Farrell has had many highlights. He stopped Paul Molitor's 39-game hitting streak, which was the fourth-longest in Major League history. He earned Pitcher-of-the-Month honors in August 1987 and combined with pitcher Doug Jones to hurl a one-hitter against the Kansas City Royals. Farrell's first big-league shutout was Aug. 11, 1989, against the Oakland Athletics. In the game he recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts. After two elbow surgeries in 1990 and 1991, Farrell battled back and pitched six years before retiring in 1996. He was inducted into the Oklahoma State Hall of Fame in 1994. Farrell graduated from OSU with a business management degree in 1984.
Farrell was born Aug. 4, 1962 in Monmouth Beach, N.J. He graduated from Shore Regional High School, where he played baseball for four years. Farrell was drafted out of high school by the Oakland A's. Farrell and his wife, Sue, a 1983 OSU graduate, have three sons: Jeremy (14), Shane (11) and Luke (9).