May 30, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona head baseball coach Andy Lopez has been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, the league office announced on Wednesday. The honor is Lopez's first in his 11 seasons at the school.
Lopez has guided the Wildcats to a 38-17 overall record and a Pac-12 co-championship. The league title is Arizona's first conference crown since 1992, and the school is hosting an NCAA Regional for the first time since that same season. Interestingly, Lopez's Pepperdine club won the Tucson Regional in 1992 and advanced to the College World Series, where it won the national championship.
At Arizona, Lopez has returned the program to the national stage. The Wildcats have advanced to an NCAA Regional in eight of the last 10 seasons, including in 2004 when the school advanced to the College World Series for the first time since 1986. In the eight seasons prior to Lopez becoming the head coach, Arizona qualified for just one NCAA Regional (1999).
The 2012 Pac-12 Co-Championship marks the sixth time Lopez has led a school to a Division I conference title. He coached Florida to a pair of Southeastern Conference titles and Pepperdine to three West Coast Conference crowns.
Lopez has twice been named national coach of the year (1992, 1996) and has been named a conference coach of the year eight previous times in his career, including in 1996 at Florida, four times at Pepperdine, and three times at Division II Cal State Dominguez Hills.
A 1975 graduate of UCLA, Lopez has won 1,080 games in his 30 seasons coaching collegiate baseball, including a 393-246-1 mark at Arizona. Lopez has now guided Division I teams to the NCAA postseason 17 times in 24 seasons.