They are the sensation of the final sixteen in college basketball and
St. Mary's Gaels from the tiny college in Moraga near San Francisco have a great Irish heritage

They defeated Villanova in the upset of the tournament so far and their nickname 'The Gaels" is a deep reflection of that Irish heritage.

A few years back the Irish all stars hurling and football teams played and trained there during their visit to San Francisco.

The school was founded by Marist Christian brothers who came over from Ireland. The current president is Brother Roanald Gallagher.

Former president. Gerald Ford was briefly stationed at the school and served as a naval instructor during the second world war Saint Mary's continued to be a male-only school until 1970s, when it became coeducational. Since then, more women have come to the college and by 2004, 60% of the students were women.

There are still roughly two dozen Christian Brothers living and working at the school, and the school presidents have always been brothers. However, recognizing the dwindling number of Christian Brothers, in 2003 the college's bylaws were changed to allow the election of a non-Christian Brother to the presidency if no qualified Brother exists or steps forward. The current president is Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC who took office in 2005.