Andy Lopez Career Highlights
Record at Arizona
Record at Florida
Record at Pepperdine
Record at CSDH
D-I Postseason Record
D-II Postseason Record
National Coach of the Year
Andy Lopez Bio (Updated July, 2013)
A three-time national coach of the year, Andy Lopez enters his 13th season as the head coach at The University of Arizona. In his tenure, Lopez has reestablished Arizona as one of the nation’s elite baseball programs, guiding the school to the 2012 NCAA National Championship, two College World Series appearances and eight postseason berths in the last 11 seasons.
The title was Arizona’s fourth as a program – first since 1986 – and marked Lopez’s second career national championship. The Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Lopez also was named national coach of the year by Collegiate Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association.
One of 12 active head coaches with a national championship to his credit, Lopez became just the second NCAA Division I head coach to win a title at two schools (Arizona, Pepperdine). He is one of just three coaches to lead three different schools (Pepperdine, Florida and Arizona) to the College World Series. Further, he is one of just four coaches to take two schools to Omaha on multiple occasions (Arizona, Florida).
Lopez coached the Wildcats to three-consecutive NCAA regional appearances while winning 121 ballgames from 2010-12. His teams placed six members on the All-Conference team in each of the 2011 and 2012 seasons, respectively, with Alex Mejia garnering the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2012.
A hallmark of Lopez’s clubs have been the balance between hitting and pitching. With a .306 team batting average in 2013, the Wildcats extended their streak of .300 or better seasons to 10-straight years, which is the longest in the nation.
Meanwhile, the pitching staffs have produced the three highest single season strikeout totals under Lopez. The 2011 and 2012 staffs registered 3.57 and 3.70 ERA’s, respectively, the lowest team ERAs at Arizona since 1978.
Lopez has led two of the top four all-time team ERAs by NCAA champions (ERA in CWS games only). At the 2012 College World Series, UA’s pitching staff accumulated a team ERA of 1.13 over five games (eight runs in 48 innings). During the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats allowed 20 earned runs in 94.0 innings for a 1.91 ERA.
The groundwork for the 2012 championship club was laid in the 2010 season, which was highlighted by reaching two great collegiate milestones. Arizona's season-opening victory over Sacramento State marked the 2,500th all-time win for the program as UA became just the seventh school to reach the mark. Later that year on May 16, Lopez became the 16th active and 46th all-time Division I coach to reach 1,000 career victories as his Wildcat team defeated No. 2 Arizona State, 12-4.
In his 12 seasons at Arizona, Lopez has guided the Wildcats to their first College World Series appearance since 1986, the first regional title since 1986, the first-ever super regional title and their first 40-win seasons since 1989. In 2012, Lopez’s clubs hosted the NCAA Tucson Regional and NCAA Super Regional at Hi Corbett Field, the program’s first time to host postseason games since 1992.
His recruiting classes have consistently been among the top in the nation, highlighted by his second-ranked class by Collegiate Baseball in 1999. His first class at Arizona earned a respectable No. 10 ranking from the publication, which was then followed up with a No. 4 ranking in 2003, a No. 6 ranking in 2004 and a No. 7 ranking in 2005. The 2012 class was rated No. 18 by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
Player development is an important part of the program under Lopez and his staff. A total of 126 players coached by Lopez have signed professional contracts, including an Arizona record seven that were drafted in the first 12 rounds in 2005 and 11 total players in the 2002 MLB Draft and again in 2008.
In 12 years at UA, he has had four players selected in the first round and a total of 59 players picked by Major League teams, including 35 that had never been drafted before. Twelve of Lopez’s UA-coached players have played in Major League Baseball.
A total of 38 Lopez coached players have garnered All-America honors, 85 have been named all-conference and in 1998 he helped guide Brad Wilkerson to national player of the year honors and the Golden Spikes Award. At Arizona, he has coached Alex Mejia (2012) and Trevor Crowe (2005) to conference player of the year honors, and Preston Guilmet (2007) to Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year.
Lopez came to the Old Pueblo from the University of Florida, where he spent seven seasons turning the Gators into a top 25 program and a national championship contender. His .636 winning percentage at UF was third-best for any coach in Florida school history that spent five or more seasons in the top spot.
While in Gainesville, 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 seven-year tenure.
He averaged 40 wins a season during his stay in the Swamp, while doubling, from two to four, the UF program's number of trips to the College World Series. The 1996 team, which won a school record 50 games, fell just two wins shy of the national championship title game. The 1996 exploits garnered Lopez Collegiate Baseball National Coach of the Year honors, the second such recognition of his coaching career. While at Florida, his student-athletes also performed in the classroom as well, as his players were tabbed with SEC academic honors 43 times.
He began his collegiate coaching career at Cal State-Dominguez Hills in 1983. He turned the program at CSUDH first into a California Collegiate Athletics Association championship team and then into a Division II national championship contender. His teams won league titles in 1986 and `87, and the latter went on to the Division II College World Series. Three different times he was named the conference coach of the year at Dominguez Hills and his 168-152-2 (.525) record in six seasons caught the eye of Southern California neighbor Pepperdine.
Pepperdine hired Lopez to lead the baseball team in 1989 and he began to make waves in Malibu, Calif., right from the start. Over six seasons he tallied a record of 241-107-3 (.691), his best winning percentage at a school in his career. His first team went 41-19-1 and made the first of four NCAA postseason appearances during his stay. In 1991 the Waves finished the season 41-17-1 and exited postseason play early, but laid a foundation on which the 1992 team could build.
The 1992 season culminated in Pepperdine's first and only national championship in school history. Thought by many to be too small of a school to compete nationally in baseball, Lopez and his team shocked the collegiate baseball world by going 48-11-1, including 8-1 in the postseason. The 3-2 title game victory over Cal-State Fullerton in Omaha earned Lopez consensus National Coach of the Year honors by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
Lopez got into collegiate baseball as a player at Los Angeles Harbor Community College where he played two seasons before transferring to Pac-10 rival UCLA. A 1975 graduate of UCLA, Lopez was the team captain and starting shortstop for the `75 Bruin baseball team. He was drafted in the ninth round by Detroit Tigers in the amateur draft, but opted to complete his studies in Westwood and begin his coaching career instead of turning pro. He was inducted into UCLA's Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Upon completion of his studies at UCLA, he got his first coaching job at his junior college alma mater, L.A. Harbor Community College. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach there before moving on to the high school coaching ranks at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif. As head coach, he led Mira Costa to a 108-48 (.692) record over five seasons before being hired at CSU Dominguez Hills.
The 31-year coaching veteran is a member of six local Hall of Fames, including the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame, the UCLA Hall of Fame, the Pepperdine Hall of Game, the L.A. Harbor Community College Hall of Fame, the San Pedro Hall of Fame and the South Bay Hall of Fame.
Lopez is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has twice served as the manager for Athletes in Action. His AIA teams competed internationally in 1982 and `83.
He and his wife, Linda, are the proud parents of two daughters, Kristi and Kerri. They also have two sons, Michael and David. Michael, who played four seasons at Arizona, earned his degree in 2013 and enters his second year as a member of the coaching staff. David will be a senior infielder this season for the Wildcats.
Andy Lopez Year-by-Year Coaching Record
* Denotes conference champions