Andy Lopez Hired As Arizona's Head Baseball Coach
July 16, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz.- University of Arizona director of athletics Jim Livengood announced today that Andy Lopez has been hired as the new head coach of the Wildcat baseball team. Lopez, who has a national championship to his credit and has twice been named national coach of the year, becomes just the fifth coach to lead the Wildcat program in 80 years.
'Andy Lopez is a perfect fit for the head baseball position at the University of Arizona,' Livengood said. 'He follows a tremendous group of men who have served the Wildcat program with pride, honor and distinction. We are excited to welcome the Lopez family to Tucson, the University of Arizona, Wildcat athletics and Wildcat baseball. Our future has never looked brighter and Andy Lopez is an extremely big part of that.'
A veteran of 19 years as a collegiate head coach, Lopez begins his UA career with a lifetime 687-418-6 (.618) overall record at three schools. He is one of only seven active coaches with a national championship to his credit and also one of eight coaches in NCAA Division I history to lead two different schools to the College World Series.
'I am honored, humbled and thankful for this opportunity,' Lopez said. 'I'm close to Coach Kindall, Coach Wing and Coach Stitt and have always admired the success they have had at Arizona. I am excited to be a part of the Wildcat baseball tradition.'
Widely regarded as a top recruiter, Lopez routinely attracts the top talent in the country to play for him. His recruiting classes are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation, including Collegiate Baseball's second-ranked class in 1999. A total of 59 players coached by Lopez have signed professional contracts and 19 have garnered All-America honors.
Lopez, 47, most recently spent seven seasons as the head coach at Florida. He led the Gators to a 278-159-1 (.636) overall record, two Southeastern Conference championships, five NCAA tournament berths and two College World Series appearances during his tenure. He averaged 40 wins a season during his stay in Gainesville while leading the Gators to Omaha, Neb., and the College World Series in 1996 and 1998. The 1996 team, which finished 50-18 overall, fell just two wins shy of the national championship, garnering Lopez Collegiate Baseball National Coach-of-the-Year honors. While at Florida, 15 players were selected All-SEC and another 43 were tabbed SEC academic honorees.
Florida recognized the talents of the coach after a highly successful six-year stint at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. Lopez's 1992 Pepperdine team shocked the collegiate baseball world by capturing the national championship with a nearly flawless 8-1 run through the postseason. His 1992 team finished the season 48-11-1, earning Lopez consensus National Coach-of-the-Year honors. During his six-year stay with the Waves, he complied a 241-107-3 (.691) overall record, four NCAA Tournament berths and four West Coast Conference titles, in addition to the 1992 national championship.
Lopez began his collegiate coaching career at Division II Cal-State Dominguez Hills in 1983. He led the Toros to a 168-152-2 (.525) record in six seasons and was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year three times during his stay. Inheriting a losing program, Lopez directed the Toros to CCAA league titles in 1986 and 1987 and the school's first-ever trip to the Division II College World Series in `87.
A 1975 graduate of UCLA, Lopez played two seasons at shortstop for the Bruins after spending the two previous years at Los Angeles Harbor Community College. Lopez was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the ninth round of the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft, but opted to complete his degree at UCLA and begin his coaching career at LAHCC. He also spent five seasons, 1978-83, as the head coach at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif., where he posted a 108-48 (.692) record.
Lopez and his wife, Linda, have two daughters, Kristi (15) and Kerri (13), and two sons, Michael (12) and David (10).
Andy Lopez's Career Record
* Denotes conference champions
Andy Lopez Facts:
|687-418-6 (.618)||In 19 years as a collegiate head coach|
|278-159-1 (.636)||In seven seasons at Florida (1995-2001) (Five NCAA Teams, Two CWS)|
|241-107-3 (.691)||In six seasons at Pepperdine (1989-1994) (Four NCAA Teams, One NC)|
|168-152-2 (.525)||In five seasons at Cal State-Dominguez Hills (1983-1988)|
|25-18 (.581)||In nine NCAA Division I postseason appearances (1992 National Champion)|
Two-time national coach of the year - 1992 (consensus), 1996
Eight-time conference coach of the year - 1996 SEC, 1993 WCC, 1992 WCC, 1991 WCC, 1989 WCC, 1987 CCAA, 1986 CCAA, 1985 CCAA
Active head coaches who have won a national championship: Andy Lopez (Pepperdine, 1992), Mike Marquess (Stanford, 1987, 1988), Mike Gillespie (USC, 1998), Augie Garrido (Cal-State Fullerton 1979, 1984, 1995), Jim Morris (Miami, 1999, 2001), Gene Stephenson (Wichita State, 1989) Larry Cochell (Oklahoma, 1994)
Head coaches that have taken two or more schools to the College World Series: Larry Cochelle (3) (Oral Roberts, 1978, Cal-State-Fullerton, 1988, 1990, Oklahoma, 1992, 1994, 1995), Ron Polk (3) (Georgia Southern, 1973, Mississippi State, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1990, Georgia 2001), Andy Lopez (2) (Pepperdine, 1992, Florida, 1996, 1998), Danny Litwhiller (Michigan State, 1954, Florida State, 1957, 1960, 1963), Tom Petroff (2) (Rider, 1967, Northern Colorado, 1974), Dave Snow (2) (Loyola Marymount, 1986, Long Beach State, 1989), Jack Stallings (2) (Florida State, 1970, Georgia Southern, 1990), Augie Garrido (2) (Cal State-Fullerton, 1975, 1979, 1984, 1995, Texas, 2000)
Transactions: University of Arizona - Announced that Andy Lopez has been named head baseball coach.