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O'Connell hires former college and pro player as baseball coach

Berset has coached the sport on various levels of play
Chris Berset leads pregame warmups for the Alexandria Aces prior to a recent game.

Chris Berset has been hired as the new head baseball coach at Bishop O’Connell High School, but he’s far from an unknown in the baseball circles of the metro area.

Berset is co-owner of the decade-old Prime Time Baseball business in Alexandria, is the current manager/head coach of the past champion Alexandria Aces of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League and coaches travel baseball teams. He also had college coaching connections with the George Washington University team.

Through June 23 games, the Aces had a 13-5 record and were in first place in the South Division.

His position at O’Connell will be Berset’s first as a high-school coach. He was chosen from a pool of 45 applicants.

“I want to give my all to such a great program,” Berset said. “We will have a disciplined aspect of play, the team will play hard and have fun, and we will have an exciting product.”

Berset already has begun talking to some of the O’Connell players and plans to meet with their parents this week.

“He is an exciting hire for us,” O’Connell athletic director Joe Wootten said.

Berset’s baseball career began playing in Reston Little League. In high school, he played at The Heights School in Maryland, graduating in 2006. While at the private school, the catcher played one season of American Legion summer ball for Vienna Post 180, with the late and longtime team manager Burt Crump regularly praising Berset’s talent and leadership abilities.

In college, Berset was a standout for the University of Michigan, where he was a 2010 graduate and team captain. Michigan won a Big 10 title his senior year.

He then was a 20th-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds, spending seven professional seasons in the Major League team’s minor leagues, the last two-and-a-half in Triple-A ball.

Berset also played for Team Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic and European Championships.

NOTE: Berset already had an O’Connell connection with the Alexandria Aces this summer, because infielder Michael Powell is a member of the team. Powell is a 2024 O’Connell graduate and was a starting infielder this past spring season for the private-school’s baseball team. He will play in college at the  University of Pennsylvania.