Brian O’Neill, a former prep basketball coach, radio broadcaster and director of the New Mexico Sports Authority, died following an extended battle with cancer.
O’Neill, 56, was the boys basketball coach at Cibola from 1992-98, leading the Cougars to the Class 4A state semifinals his final two years. He vacated that post to become an assistant coach with the University of New Mexico in 1999, serving on a staff that helped the Lobos reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
O’Neill’s brother, Joe, confirmed Brian O’Neill died late Monday after fighting an undisclosed form of cancer for the past 18 months.
Joe O’Neill is president of KQTM-FM (101.7), an ESPN-affiliated station in Rio Rancho where Brian had worked as an analyst during live broadcasts. Brian O’Neill became a familiar voice during the station’s coverage of the annual high school basketball state tournament, doing a number of games alongside hall of fame broadcaster Mike Roberts.
O’Neill also made countless appearances on regular programming for KQTM, which followed more than two decades of service for the state and public schools. That includes a brief stint with the Sports Authority, a former division of the New Mexico Tourism Department, meant to promote youth and professional sports around the state.
Joe O’Neill said Brian O’Neill is survived by his wife and two children. Services will be held next week.