TUCSON, Ariz. (Arizona Athletics) -- Andy Lopez, head baseball coach at the University of Arizona, has been named National Coach of The Year by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
It marks the third time that Lopez has been honored by Collegiate Baseball as Coach of the Year. He also was chosen in 1992 after he guided Pepperdine to the national championship and then once again in 1996 when he led Florida to the College World Series.
Under Lopez, Arizona won its fourth overall national baseball championship at the 2012 College World Series with a perfect 5-0 record. In a rare achievement, the Wildcats never trailed in the 2012 CWS as Arizona became only the third team in history to accomplish this feat.
Since joining the conference in 1978, no other league school has won more baseball national titles than Arizona. The Wildcats have won three (1980, 1986 and 2012), while Oregon State (2006 and 2007), Stanford (1987 and 1988), and USC (1998 and 1978) have each won two.
Arizona's run to its fourth national title was sparked by a furious late-season charge. The Wildcats finished the season on an 11-game winning streak, including all 10 postseason contests. The club won 13 of the last 14, 18 of the final 20, and 24 of the final 29 ballgames it played.
Lopez became only the second coach to win an NCAA Division I baseball national title at two different schools (Pepperdine, 1992) and this year with Arizona. The coach, who completed his 11 season in Tucson, is one of three coaches all-time to lead three different programs to the College World Series.
Prior to Lopez's arrival in Tucson in 2002, Arizona had not been to Omaha since 1986 and had appeared in the postseason just one time in the previous eight seasons. Since 2003, Lopez has guided the Wildcats to a pair of College World Series appearances and eight postseason berths over the last 10 seasons.
A veteran of 30 years as a collegiate head coach, Lopez has an overall record of 1,090-664-7. He won his 400th game at Arizona on June 17 in a 4-0 victory over his alma mater, UCLA, at the College World Series. He now boasts a 403-246-1 record with the Wildcats.
Photo Courtesy: Jeff Beiermann/The Omaha World-Herald
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